Follow us on our journey to Edinburgh and back!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Though I personally arrived 13 hours late, we all have made it home safely! I know I'm excited tell my family and friends about my time in the UK and talk up the Fringe.

Thank you for reading this blog. I've gotten some really nice feedback from some of you. It's nice to know that people were following our trip to the Fringe.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Going to the Airport!

Be back soon!!!

Lots of Pictures!

Hello everyone! We took a lot of pictures and had to sort through them to see which ones would be best to post (above is the company picture we took after our last show yesterday). Below are the links to all the different things we did in the past week.

August 5th:

August 8th:

August 9th:
On this day a group of the cast and crew went up to the top of the mountain behind our dorms and there are many pictures of that. To be posted soon.

We also went to the Tattoo on this day but there are about 1,000 pictures we took of this so once we go through all of them and select a few we'll post them

August 10th:

August 11th:

August 12th:
On this day we went sight seeing around the area (about an hour outside of Edinburgh). It was rainy and we took a lot of pictures, will post them once we look through all of them.

August 13th:

We have a total of 3,026 pictures just from the past week (the ones we posted are what we think to be the best) If you would like more pictures of your kids PLEASE send us an email at fringephotos@pds.org

ALL SHOW photos (and some more) are taken by Paul Batterman and the others by Ron Gerschel

See you soon!

Greetings from Edinburgh

This is what a packed house looks like :)

And I saw a show yesterday with the guy who played Dean Thomas in Harry Potter

Last Show

As all the performers collected themselves for the final show, Stan came around to each cluster quietly as let us know that before we even arrived at the venue, over 80 tickets had been pre ordered from the main Fringe Box Office, not including the Box Office at our venue. That bit of news both energized me and made me nervous. We had to deliver one hell of a show to this unprecedented crowd who came to see this high school production. After an energy filled warm up, the best we've had in a while, we went backstage and prepared. Whether it was dancing or standing silently in place, everyone had their technique. Hunt went onstage first, followed by Nicole and James. As I stepped out, the room felt loud - not because people were talking, but because I had never seen the room so full. The room was hotter than usual, perhaps because of the 160 people, their body heat and the hot lights!
I think that almost everyone in Cast B had their best performance yet!! We kept it alive, connected our characters, and found new jokes. When Julia read out the results of the secret ballot, her orgasmic sounds almost broke the whole cast, but somehow, we kept it together.
I couldn't be prouder of the Princeton Day School Performing Arts Department, or for PDS in general! This amazing trip would have never been possible without the support of everyone in the administration, as well as the enthusiasm of our parents and grandparents.
The money was well worth it. Believe me. If anyone has the opportunity to visit the fringe - I heavily encourage you to do so. Take a week, don't plan anything and just wander through what is the marvel of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Making the best of the rest of the trip!

Today we had our last performance of 12 Incompetent Men and Women. Seniors lead us though their last PDS warm ups and did a great job doing it because, the moment we enter the stage, we were all filled with so much energy and excitement. We gave it our all and left everything out on the stage. Our sold out house was so engaged and energized us actors on stage. But the best part for me was the fact that throughout the show I would hear the roaring laughter of Nick Banks, Stan and other recognizable laughs. Its incredible that we can still all get a kick out of jokes that we have been pulling for months now. Our run has been extremely enjoyable and it is sad it is all over now, but I am glad we went out with a bang.
After our show we all had dinner at Pullock Halls and then headed out to the Royal Mile. I had the privilege of seeing three amazing shows. Dinner was a dark comedy about a dinner party with a surprising twist that made the whole audience gasp. Dregs was a hilarious three man stand up comedy sketch at the coolest venue I've been to yet called the Underbelly. Paul was asked to go up on stage at one point and hold up a blown up soccer ball, and one of the men pointed at me to go up, but the other stopped him saying, "No she's only a baby." Lastly, almost the entire company went to Audience which involved psychologically addressing the audience with one camera panning around the house focusing on individuals and actors attempting to manipulate us by wearing some of our jackets in a runway show. It is fascinating jumping from drama, to comedy, to completely original works and it is really only possible to do that at the Fringe.
We had late passes and all decided to walk back home, which I just realized was our last late night in Edinburgh since we will have to wake up early on the 15th to catch our flight. It is frightening how quickly time flew past. It feels like just yesterday we were exploring London, seeing our first Fringe production, and performing in our European Premier. We have our last full day tomorrow and I know we will all strive to make it the best, which will be a challenge since we have had numerous, unbelievably remarkable days.
I just got off of Skype with my family, cousins, and my grandma and it was so great to see them all! I am looking forward to the time I will get to spend with them when I get back, but for now I am going to make the best of the rest of the trip.

Traverse Theater advertising for 12 Incompetent Men and Women
One of the many poster covered stairwells at the Underbelly venue
Meg, Sydney, Sabrina, Stan, and Julia sitting in the front row for Dinner
Skyping with my family
A peaceful goodnight view from my dorm


SOLD OUT!!!!!!!!!!!

We had an amazing audience which helped to energize the cast. While 142 people came to see us (!), over 80 people pre-ordered the tickets!!!!!

More later.

Friday, August 12, 2011

More Photos from Today!

Older than I am...
Guess who?! (It's Molly and Michelle.)

Actor playing member of the court flirting with Sabrina about chamber pots...
The ONE TIME Nick didn't have his horn and is allowed, even ENCOURAGED to use it!
We Will Rock You on the flaming bagpipe! Sorry about the ending...Jeff and I were mesmerized by the Spanish guy with a mullet trying to make dreadlocks...

Bus Tours, Coos and Gift Shops

This morning was a bit tough for the company. While we all had the great experience of seeing the Scottish countryside, we all found it tough to leave Edinburgh while there were still so many good shows to see.
We were met on the bus by the same Jersey tour guide from last week (!) and rolled out of the city of the bypass to travel to Sterling Castle. While many of the cast drifted back to sleep - it was 8 in the morning - our guide Davy put sentences together on the way to Sterling Castle. The hour drive took us through rainy Scotland, though everyone was equipped with rain gear. Davy told us how the castle recently underwent a £50 million restoration to make it look like it did exactly after completion. While it was still unbelieveably cool to climb into some of the smaller old spaces, the renovations seemed more cheesy than authentic. From the castle the William Wallace monument was visible in the mist. My family and I have an older picture from the top, though the stunning views promised by the guide book is replaced with a sheer white background.
Davy and driver George herded us back on the bus (after a gift shop, of course :) and brought us to Callander, a town about 75 minutes northwest of Edinburgh which. Built specifically for tourists in the late 1800s, we were encouraged to purchase our souvenirs, as they are cheaper there than on the Royal Mile. All my shopping was done there, and I got a nice sweater for myself for half-off! Isn't that interesting for you to read? Probably not.
Our next stop was five minutes down to road to see Hamish the friendly Highland cow. I kid you not. It was a cow, his mate and calf. That was 30 minutes, and another gift shop. (The video is not of someone we know. And she was fine. She's "used to it." ?????)
I still don't really know how the tour bus managed to meander up and down the narrow, windy roads, especially when we needed to pass another! Our fourth and final stop took us to the "Scottish Wool Centre" where there was a final gift shop, but also a cool Boarder Collie herding demonstration using ducks. And an owl. But not in the demonstration...there was an owl there...I'm very tired.
Our bus took us back to Edinburgh and after an hour nap on the coach, I was ready to see some shows! Our Papa John's pizza met us in the boy's dorm common room and then Jeff, James, Conor and ran to try to catch a show. Unfortunately, we didn't get to it in time, so James and Conor went to find a different show while Jeff and I wandered the Mile waiting for our show to begin. Both of the street performances involved fire - one was a fire breather, the other blew fire from his bagpipe, while playing. He was awesome!!
As Jeff and I walked back to go catch The Chronicles of Moonfish, we were offered half off or free tickets twice to the show! It always helps to scrounge for good deals on the street before buying. The show was a ridiculous sketch comedy duo whose jokes ranged from bald jokes in the beginning to a song about Chlamydia to their grand finale (their "Chorus Line moment") which involved me and Jeff getting up on stage, putting on wigs and singing a song about how all the world should be lesbians while in a kick line. Jeff and I have now performed at two venues. The show was beyond hysterical. Best comedy I've seen behind Hitler! The Musical.
We then met up with Stan, Jon and Mrs. Deana-Roga to watch the stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress, a current writer for 30 Rock and an ex-writer for Saturday Night Live. It was funny how he had to explain to the crowd what both of the shows were (Who doesn't know SNL?!). We sat, howling in laughter as he joked about how much he hates Edinburgh and doesn't understand the Fringe and his jokes about pickle juice and ham. We went up to him after and talked to him- he's a nice guy! Look him up on YouTube. He's good. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBgoBjJkxfI
We're all excited for our FINAL SHOW tomorrow! It's weird that the process is finally going to be over after all this time. I can't believe we leave in less than 3 days. There's so much more that I want to see and see again, and I'll never have the time to fully explore the Fringe.

This is what the tour bus stopped for :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Making sense of things

Cast A's last performance went very well! We all piled into the theater from outside in the rain, loaded in smoothly, gave a good final performance with a quieter audience and a silly young girl in the front row who laughed at almost everything, and we loaded out. I then went into town for lunch with Abby, Connor, Harold, Ron, Paul, and Thomas. Connor, Abby, and I shared our first (and probably last) portion of haggis. The whole company then went to see another high school production called Pippin. It didn't make much sense to me and I am grateful that we have a script to work with that does make sense, however queer, wild, and silly it may be. After Pippin the majority of the cast and crew went to see The Wheel. We all pre-ordered the tickets since the acclaimed National Theater of Scotland company at the "Traverse Theater which, annually offers some of the most exciting new work of the summer"* It messed with all of our minds and I am glad to say that after a long, exciting, great day, sleep has taken the better of me. Goodnight!


Cast A's final run

Jeff, James, Hunt and I braved the pouring rain to hand out flyers. With a very late bus and horrendous weather, we only had about 5 minutes on the mile - that was fine, because the only other people were also handing out flyers! We made the 4 minute walk to Surgeon's Hall and met a soaking Abby, JVV and Nicole who were also advertising. We started shouting things like: "Come out of the rain!" and "We have a roof!" I think Jeff started telling people that we are a Grammy nominated production.
We finally moved inside and began loading in the set. I took tickets from a diverse and excited audience - a woman who was recruited by one of our parents, to performers who wanted to kill time before they had to go to their venue (who cares! they all paid :)
Cast A did well today! Nick Muoio brought a bible onstage for one final crack at Michelle's creepy #9, and no one broke from the surprise! Good for them. We had to kick people out who wanted to congratulate the cast so we could load out!

After a short afternoon back, we're now going to see another school's production of Pippin, and tonight we're going to the show The Wheel (I have no idea what it's about, but it's supposed to be good.

I need to get pictures from other people...


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The European Premiere of Peter Powers

Cast B had its time to shine onstage today in our premiere! We arrived at the Surgeon's Hall venue in heavy rain, though no company member was deterred! We smiled as we heard stories of Conor and Dan running up to busses and slapping the wet flyers on the windows so they would stick. Our near flawless load in of the set - cleaning the house, hanging the blinds/AC unit, setting up the furniture and table props - gave us more confidence. As the rest of Cast B and I waited backstage, we heard the audience pour in. For an early morning show on a rainy day, 88 butts is great!! With the backing of a 4 star review, we headed on stage. Though we had some line problems, the show drew many laughs from the audience. Nick Muoio almost made everyone on stage break character when he "whispered" to Nicole's Russian after a rant "Go back to Nicaragua!" We'll be ready for you next time, Nick. And sorry, Sabrina, for slapping your ass. My character was in the moment.
From our performance, I loaded the bus back to Pollock Halls, changed and headed out to lunch with Abby, Nicole, and Hunt along with others. I ended up immensely enjoying my Subway sandwich in an ally to escape the downpour!
We then shared a taxi to Hitler! The Musical with Kalyn. Unfortunately, they were sold out, and only Abby, Nick Banks, Thomas and I had the pleasure of viewing one of the funniest shows I've seen. The show starred 14 women and one man who all worked as actors putting on an autobiographical musical, with direction, of course from Hitler (played by a woman). Whenever someone on stage was Hitler, they would put on the 'moustache' and do their bit, which ranged from Hitler's memories of his self-concious hairless, pre-pubecent self, to his rejection from Art School, to his rejection in the army. In the end, he couldn't remember anything that happened from around 1939-1946 (Weird, huh?). Turns out, before he killed himself, the Art School made a mistake, and he went on to paint the greatest works of art the world knows!
Abby then took me to a show called What it Feels Like, which involved a sub-concious journey through a man's mind after he has been involved in a car crash. Though I thought the writing was extremely poor, the two main actors were great.
Quick dinner back at Pollock Halls, and then we were off to the other side of town to see a South Carolina high school's production of "Leader of the Pack," a jukebox musical featuring pop songs from the 1960's. As a whole, we really enjoyed it, and it was a major change from the other shows we've seen. We shared a bus on the way back to Pollock Halls and gave them our flyers (which some of them left on the bus...)
OH! Earlier, I saw the actress from the show Bash handing out flyers for her show. Abby and I told her how much everyone was blown away by their show. She wanted a flyer to our show, also! It's really great how in this community of performers, everyone will take the time to come (or at least try) to see each other's shows. Lots of performers get in for free, which confirms that the Fringe festival is not about turning a profit (and most shows don't), but about sharing your love of theater and what you have to offer to the world.
I also recounted the entire trailer of The Rise of the Planet of the Apes for the bus as a warm up.
I think the other groups thought I was insane...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Military Tattoo and REVIEWS!!!

We had a good day today! Or a good afternoon. We started off the day by attending another school's show "Love's Wild Desire". That was..........

I then went to hand out more flyers on the Royal Mile with a few people before we hopped over to see a show at a Spaces venue (for free!) called "Henna Night", about a suicidal woman who meets the woman for who her ex boyfriend leaves her. The scales of the productions here amaze me - one of the two women was the one taking tickets! It was a very moving yet still lightly funny show.

at 5:50pm, our time on the Royal Mile stage came. Hunt and Julia started off their reenactment scene while a small crowd watch. Nick Muoio('s character) interrupted and started to get angry at everyone - he even yelled at a kid (in a good way). Meanwhile, Kalyn, Nick and I were planted inthe audience to heckle Nick. It got to the point where Kalyn and Nick took J and H's places. And somewhere in there, Sabrina exploded when Nick mentioned the "loosed gummed." We ended earlier than we thought, so Nick Banks lead us in an impromptu singing of "Seasons of Love," which went pretty well, actually!

After dinner on our own, we headed over to the cattle line that lead to the Military Tattoo. Though the average age was around 70, PDS nestled in and bundled up with the other ASHTF kids. It was an incredible show!! The music ranged from "God Save the Queen" to the "Harry Potter" theme song and "Ease on Down the Road" from the Wiz! The projections on the castle brought together the 400 year structure with a new performance. And the fireworks were cool, too! We fought through the crowds and arrived safely back at Pollock Halls.

REVIEWS CAME OUT!!! I'm happy with our 3/5 and THRILLED for our 4/5, which lots of professional shows can't say they have gotten. See what you think here: http://edfringereview.com/reviews/event/TjzyTEHMSkm6p3VzwwOIBg

and comment on their site if you disagree!!


Today in Photos

Our preview for our show on the Royal Mile
The Tattoo fireworks
Double decker bus



The reviews are in!! So far, so good!

Lining Up Before the Show!

Awesome story: While we were setting up the stage and the house was closed, people tried to come in because there were so many people lining up to see the show that it was a "safety hazard." 100 butts in the seats, plus us!

Pictures from Hike up Arthur's Seat

Pictures from our first show 8 8 2011

Pictures from our first show! 8.8.2011 (taken by Paul Batterman) Click here:

If you'd like to see more pictures of the run through send an email to r@pds.org (we have more)

Monday, August 8, 2011

European Premiere!

I am still in shock about the fact that we had 100 people attending our European Premier! It was incredible to act in a different country for the first time ever. Nick Muoio's line "I am an American I can do what ever I want!" got a bunch of laughter and applause! The Fringe reviewers were also present at today performance and apparently sat in the front row. I hope they liked it as much as the crowd seemed to. It was a blast finally performing and I am so excited for our next three shows! As far as the rest of my day went today, the entire company saw another high school performance which mostly involved me laughing when Harold laughed at the jokes. Harold has a great laugh. "Anywho", I also saw a show with Julia, Conor, James, Jeff, and Harold for free! It's called Mr. Kolpert and it was a mind twisting black comedy. Every professional show that I have seen thus far (free or not) has been fantastic! I feel that we all are the luckiest people on the planet right now because we have so many (and I mean sooooo many) incredible opportunities to see all different types of performances. I am so happy! Good night :)
PS shout out to Courtney Klein for reading this blog and for sharing your previous place of residence with us!
PPS Sorry for the lack of pictures from me lately. I have been so busy I haven't really had time to take any.



In our 160+ seat venue, at the first performance of a High School's show, exactly 100 people attended, not including the other cast and crew!!

It went REALLY well, and the audience loved it! We had people waiting outside the theater door, lots of who had the pamphlets that Julia, Naiyah, Meg, Jon, Jeff and I handed out an hour before the show. It was awesome. Pictures are coming.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

George Bush Seduces the Queen

Baby Wants Candy: the improvised musical. Hysterical. Characters included W, Her Majesty the Queen, Helen Mirren and her servant Henry.

W came up with an idea to get more press coverage: have an affair with a head of state. Obviously, the Queen was the only option.

It kept getting funnier and funnier, and the songs were good also. The improvised harmony REALLY impressed me, and the Yes Band had to come up with the music also, while the tech staff did lights. I would go back again. My suggestion -- Cinderella and Kim Jong Il: Together at Last!

We also promoted our show a bit today. Conor, James and Jeff were called up on stage in front of 500 people and were able to plug it. Not bad. As people gave us cards with their show's info on it, we gave ours right back to them. Some were thrown off...
Michelle went up to people and struck up conversations. Good for her.

First show tomorrow after we see another high school's play...
First Show at Baby Wants Candy!

A quick run-down of some Fringe experiences:

Friday night. Our first night in Edinburgh and all of us were eager to explore and see our first shows. After a long train ride and bus tour, we still found the energy to roam the Royal Mile for shows to watch. Kalyn, Daniella, Michelle, Sabrina and I all went to see an improv musical by a troupe called "Baby Wants Candy". Every night, they perform a completely different show based on a suggestion from the audience! For our show, the title and suggestion was "The Pouch-less Kangaroo". For a split second we thought "The Pouch-less Kangaroo" might get a little dull, but we were so so wrong. It's still one of my favorite performances that I've seen! The singing, music, dance moves, story line and characters are all made up on the spot with hilarious results.

Saturday. The first day that we could really take advantage of shows! After breakfast and a quick line-through, Sabrina, Harold, Jeff, Conor, Michelle and I all walked to the Royal Mile in search of shows. The Royal Mile is flooded with people headed to shows, street performers and promoters handing out tons and tons of pamphlets. By the end of the day, our backpacks and handbags were full of advertisements! In the afternoon, we met up with Peter, Connor, Kalyn, James and Abby for a showing of "Sluts" about four Irish girls and the aftermath of their nights out. I think the general consensus was that it was entertaining! We all gathered as a group for dinner at Pollock Dining Halls and then split off again for night time shows. I went to see an improv group that based their show entirely around the word "Hummus", which was at times clever, but not as funny as "The Pouch-less Kangaroo". Afterwards, I saw a dramatic series of monologues called "Bash", which were amazing. The material was so disturbing, yet fascinating because it all revolved around examples of sick human impulses such as letting your child suffocate.

Sunday. We had a bright and early morning at 8:15 with our tech rehearsal! Once tech was finished, we all headed back to the dorms for lunch. Everyone felt pretty wiped out today, so most of us spent the afternoon relaxing or napping. At night, I went out to a quick dinner with Abby, Nicole, Joe, Nick M, Nick B, Sydney, Mikey, Ron and Paul and then off to a show!

Relaxing in the dorm! :)


Today we had our tech rehearsal over at our venue, and it couldn’t have gone more smoothly. We quickly proved to the adult technicians that we are very capable of handling our own show and acting professionally, and ended up finishing ahead of schedule. Its rainy and gray today and a lot of us were really tired and decided to relax in the dorms for a while. I later went out to see two shows, a very serious drama and an improvised musical comedy. How the improvised musical worked was an audience member would think of a title (today's was "George Bush Seduces the Queen') and the actors and band would make up the whole thing as they went along. Some of us who went had seen this improv group perform before, but since it is an entirely different show every night, I could see it again and again and laugh hysterically every time. Today was so fun!!


Yesterday we had the freedom to explore the city of Edinburgh and make our own choices of how to spend the day. I started out the day hiking with a few others to the top of Arthur’s Seat, a gorgeous and very steep hill. The view was absolutely incredible, and it was amazing how the busy city and the peaceful mountains are next-door neighbors. It was our first really rainy day on this trip, and throughout the day we got soaked to the skin. I later saw a show called “The Way It Feels,” followed later by a collection of monologues and small scenes called “Bash.” The entire city is just bursting with life and performances and you cannot make it down a street without being handed several fliers for various shows. It is hard not to spend tons of money everyday going to see every show that is advertised, but its important to pick and choose the shows you really want to see.

I sincerely apologize for my lack of new posts! I'd been having some computer and internet difficulties, but now that they're solved, I've got lots of updating to do! Some more stories will come later tonight, but I wanted to post some fun photos.

We WILL Rock You


Me and Kalyn by the London Eye

Today's Tech!

More are coming...and I stole these from Julia and Mikey.

Day 2

I'm exhausted after yesterday. Though we had a later start, from 12:30 to 9:00 I saw 4 shows (though JVV managed 7 somehow...). We were told about the first one, Paper Tom, by one of the actors who came up to us the day before and guilted us into seeing his show. The free tickets didn't hurt either. It was about two British soldiers and their experiences in WWI and Afghanistan, so 100 years apart. The writing was great, though some of the acting fell short. Abby really liked it, I liked it and Kalyn hated it....
We stopped for a quick lunch and Kalyn and I bought plaid umbrellas from a tourist trap (I think Nick Muoio is blowing a horn on the other side of the building....side note....) Anyway, they were 2 for £10 and it shows.
ANYWAY! The next show we saw starred four young Irish ladies called SLUTS (though pronounced Slohs). It was hysterical. The tag line (A play about stupid bitches) sums it up, and it is really enjoyable for both guys and girls.
An improv show was next after dinner back at Pollock Halls. Nothing to Show was inside a quarter of a conference room at the Radison. With only about 30 seats, it's the smallest theater in which I've ever been. Taking suggestions from the audience, the show was named Humus. It was funny to hear them talk about their Pita (not peeta) bread. It's not the best improv I've seen, but they were very good. And I got in free because our wristbands get us into certain venues free of charge!
The last show was actually in the same place just 10 minutes later. Bash was one of the best plays I've ever seen. Two college students did three monologues total: one solo each and one interlacing. I could have listened to the two of them talk for hours. The writing was incredible, the story had heart wrenching twists, and the acting was perfect. They talked of killing their children, beating a gay man in the park, and how their lives just moved on. It was incredible.
Day over.

Today!!! We just got back from our tech rehearsal. The venue is the biggest I've been to yet, so let's hope we fill it!! It's located in half a conference/ball room, and funny enough, it has skylights! The production staff was very friendly and helpful, and we finished early! Pictures and videos are coming. Let me repeat. Pictures and videos are coming. Please don't bug Stan, as they are coming, both on the Facebook page and this blog, and he then bugs us.

Rest time today and FIRST SHOW TOMORROW!!! (Though it's Cast A...)

Pictures are worth 1000 words

We made it to the top of Arthurs Seat!

Preparing to hike

Watching a street performer

Last night in London

Dinner in London on the Tate lawn

Saturday, August 6, 2011

And Fringe Begins

Yesterday we all took the most beautiful train ride I have ever experienced. It was four hours from London to Scotland. The country side, dark ocean, vast green pastures with roaming sheep, small villages, and the brightest blue sky I have ever seen was all breathtaking. After a tour of Edinburgh we went to our lovely single dorms, unpacked, and walked to the High Street (the center of the festival) to explore a few shows and street performers. I got to see a performance of Bash with Sydney, Connor, and Jeff Berger in a small venue inside a hotel for free! We talked it up all night and many more of us went to see it today. We are all sharing our thoughts on every show and comparing experiences which makes it feel like we have seen a dozen shows a day!

Today Abby broke our record with 6 shows in one day since we really had all day to explore the city, hike, and catch as many shows as we could. I decided to hike Arthurs Seat in the morning with Stan and a small group. This "hill", as the scots call it, is much bigger than any hill I've ever seen. The view on top was incredibly stunning but we hiked back down and walked strait to the High Street. I saw three shows today drama, comedy, and improv. What It Feels Like which was an emotional, spine tingling drama about a man in a coma. There was a show that we got tickets for last minute and laughed all the way through. Baby Wants A Candy is an improve musical with the title given out by the audience and tonight we saw "The Mathematical Beaver" which may sound just silly but was actually one of the funniest most incredible things to watch. Through the rain in the later part of the day, excellent shows, and a thriving city, I have fallen in love with Edinburgh and its really only the first day.

Friday, August 5, 2011


We finally made it to Edinburgh! While I have to stop my jokes about how I used to live in London, it is very exciting to see performances and get to showcase Princeton Day School Theater internationally (or, when we're misbehaving, Hun School).

So we missed a bunch, as the internet in London was as shaky as the Wibbly Wobbly bridge was (good one, right?). So yesterday (Thursday), we had our ONLY rainy day in London, which is a miracle! We decided to stay closer so we didn't have to go far, and we went to the Tate Modern, which is located right in front of the Bankside House. I actually really enjoyed it - the first time I've been able to say that for Modern art. Look, mom! I'm cultured!
We got a chance to return to the Globe and sat in seats to watch a rehearsal for a show that didn't look too promising. OH! I loved As You Liked It, which we saw Wednesday night at the Globe. Though the groundling experience is something I don't want to relive, the play got so good that I forgot about the pains in my feet and back. It was hilarious!
Zeb, our workshop leader and Shakespearian actor took us to the workshop room and lead us through fun exercises. Everyone did a good job, including the tech crew!
As one group went to Harrods, I went with a bunch to Camden Town, a funky marketplace just 3 stops from where I lived (this has been a running joke). Some stayed to shop, while Thomas, Hunt, Abby, Connor, Sydney and I rented city bikes and cycled around Regent's Park. I took my mom's suggestion and took our group through Queen Mary's Garden. We then met back with the others at the tube stop, and I navigated our way through the Tube (something which I loved to do...another running joke.)
After a dinner at one of my old favorite restaurants, Pizza Express (thanks, Mom for reminding me about the dough balls) we went to the "hit show", We Will Rock You, featuring the music of Queen.....DEAR GOD. Stan did not do justice to how crappy the plot was, though I was on my feet screaming at the end because of the incredible vocal performances, technical marvels, and the hillarity of the holes in the story - it was set 300 years into the future, when music was banned (yes, even the bad guys sang) and the rebels, known as the Bohemians, sought to achieve their Rhapsody (I kid you not. When I figured that out, I was laughing by butt off.) It was VERY entertaining, and as Hunt described, "it had the best plot of any concert I've ever seen." Oh yeah, and one male lead was named Britney Spears. He was killed at the end of Act I, unbeknownst to me.

We had a really nice walk from the theatre home, and had our last chance to see London at night. Big Ben and Parliament look beautiful, as did the Eye. Though we all knew we had to get up at 5am the next day, I don't think anyone got more than 5 hours of sleep...

We had to shoot up, pack, shower, etc. and get on the bus to King's Cross Station to meet our AHSTF charter train. Daniella and Nicole, among others were disappointed they didn't get to see Platform 9 3/4. After a long wait, which involved watching the trailer to the movie The Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Stan and I recounted it from memory for the company), we got on our train, and after a quick Cast B line-through, most of us promptly fell asleep.
The ride was very interesting - we met three girls who are performing Almost, Maine at the Fringe, our conductor pointed out a 1,000 year old cathedral, but the most exciting part by far was the sighting of the HOGWARTS EXPRESS. I don't have pictures, but maybe someone else does. It made up for not seeing 9 3/4...

We got to a station just outside of Edinburgh, as the city's station is gridlocked, and met our driver who we called Scottish Beverly (though he was born and raised in Maplewood, NJ until the age of 12...). He briefly took us around the city, and then over to our dorms at Pollock Halls, U. of Edinburgh. Though I really miss my London roommates, the dorms here are AWESOME. Though it's dark right now, from the desk in my dorm, I can look out the 4x6 window and gaze up at Arthur's Seat. I'll post a picture tomorrow. And the food here rocks.

The company went down town to the Royal Mile and we were set loose for the evening. While trying to deciding what to see, a man came up to us and gave us free tickets to his show for tomorrow which has been well received, though is poorly attended because the venue is so far. I'm looking forward to that. From where I sat looking through the MASSIVE magazine of shows (which we're in!!) a highly energetic, colorful and talented Australian amateur percussion band set up right in front of me and entertained a crowd of 200 people for 45 minute. I got pictures with them. Later...

NOW! I'm back in my dorm, waiting for the laundry to be done, as I am out of clean boxers. HAVE A NICE NIGHT!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

First FULL Day

We ate our first London breakfast this Wednesday morning, and then took the streets to experience as much of London as possible in the few days we have here. We split into smaller groups to enable most, if not all, people to travel to their preferred destinations. I took off with a group to the London Dungeon, where en route Nick Banks was whisked away by a street performer to face a mock guillotine (pictures to come of his terrified expression). At the London Dungeon we learned the dark history of London from actors in gruesome face paint and went on a few trilling rides (Connor Gibson was burned at the stake). Upon leaving the Dungeon I broke off with a smaller group to get a quick lunch and head to the Tower of London and there meet up with a few others. It was actually the coolest place ever! I remember visiting the Tower many years ago as a child, but I have a much greater appreciation for the history of the place now. In the evening, we all gathered for lunch at a park and then walked to the Globe to see “As You Like It” performed at the Globe as groundings. Three hours of standing in the audience later, our legs were sore but our understanding of great acting was expanded. It a wonderful experience to see a Shakespeare performed by truly talented and professional actors. We all crashed in our rooms after a truly memorable day.

Wednesday morning was the first morning for exploration, so Peter and I went to Hampstead while the rest of the company went to the London Dungeon. Peter used to live in Hampstead, and I have family there so both of us know the area well. We knocked on the door of his old house, had lunch, went to his old school and even made it to Abbey Road for a picture! Then we met a Kalyn, Mikey, Jon and Nick Muoio at the Science Museum in the afternoon for some loud, kid-filled science activities. In the nighttime, we went to a showing of Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ at the globe theater! Everyone enjoyed it, regardless of the fact that our legs were very tired from standing! The weather has been beautiful, even with the first day of rain today, and we've all been enjoying walking around the city. More to come! Tomorrow SCOTLAND!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

As WE Like It

This morning started off with a shock, Michelle literally plugged in her hair dryer and all the power went out in the rooms near hers, but other than Nick Bank’s near death experience, the day went very smoothly. The entire company was walking down to the London Dungeon, respectfully, when a small midget approached Nick and asked him to come up onto his small stage. At the center of this stage was a guillotine where the midget magically let the blade drop without spilling any blood. “Cheeky” Nick is safe and sound. We then broke off into smaller groups and I went with Ann’s group on our first Tube ride (the London Subway)! We went to the museum of natural history and the science museum where we learned about dinosaurs, human biology, energy, and how not to spend our money on the temping flying simulators. We proceeded to ride the tube back to our dorms were we went out for a quick dinner and sat in the front lawn of the Tate Museum for a nice, breezy dinner. Then we rushed off to the Globe Theater, only a five minute walk away. We had groundling tickets for Shakespeare’s As You Like It and hoped it didn’t start raining mid performance since a “groundling ticket” means that you stand under the sky. We were extremely lucky and didn’t feel a drop, but only a cool breeze every once and a while as we kept our lets from locking. After the roaring applause Sabrina, Sydney and I all agreed that we now love Shakespeare, something I thought I would never say. I am proud to be a Globe audience member and a newly converted Shakespeare fan.
Pictures coming tomorrow!

Pictures from day 1 in London

Kalyn on the Millennium/Wobbly Bridge

Touring London

Some european boys we found

Post Sightseeing

Sorry for that last post. I barely remember writing it I was so tired.

After a brief delay of our flight, we landed and were off the plane, through customs by about 7:30 and were met by Beverly! She led us on to to our bus, and though fitting the luggage was a squeeze, we all had a seat! To be honest, I didn't really know that she was a tour guide until she had us get off at Prince Albert's memorial. Mikey has a good picture. THE WEATHER WAS AMAZING, somehow: Blue skies and 80ยบ! Anyway, Beverly (or as Connor Gibson thought, Beferly or Bepherly) took us around the city and showed us the West End district, St James Palace, Clarence House, Buckingham Palace, and took us by Trafalgar Square before we stopped for lunch at Covent Gardens. It was nice to get some real food and see some street performers, though one was just taunting a 5 year old...I wanted to go to one of my old favorite museums from when I lived here, the London Transport Museum, but no one else wanted to go.....oh well!
After lunch, driver Brian got the tour bus stuck in the tight alleys of London. I still have no idea how he got us out. Good for him. Beverly brought us by St Pauls, (look kids!) Big Ben, Parliament, the London Eye, the "wibbly, wobbly" Millennium Bridge, Tower Bridge and City Hall. She set us down safely at Bankside House dorms for the London School of Economics turned B&B during the summer. After a reviving rest period, we ate dinner and each set off to explore the awesome Bankside area for ourselves. Julia and I walked from the Millennium Bridge (right across from our rooms) all the way to City Hall where we met up with James and Nick. It was fun to just hang out on the grassy steps and enjoy the weather/laugh at all the people who, for some reason, always jog with backpacks. We also saw a conference table suspended 200ft in mid air, a stunt for what we're guessing was the newest stupid Samsung Galaxy Tab commercial.
We met back up and I went off with Sydney and Connor on a more adventurous walk in search for a cafe/bathroom...we didn't find one, but Meg and Niyah showed us one. Back to Bankside for a quick internet fix, and BED!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


WE MADE IT!!! It's my 33rd hour without real sleep, and I'm loving it!!

Monday, August 1, 2011


connor says hi.

and so does british airways!


we're all at the airport waiting for british airways to take us across the sea. everyone made it through security, though thomas and daniella got detained for a minute - dont worry they made it! kalyn was nice enough to buy a tween quiz magazine - jeff's celebrity bff is miley cyrus, if you were wondering. thanks to kelly dun for seeing us off!!! next post: london!!!