For the fourth time, students and faculty from Hilliard Davidson High School will perform at the world's largest art festival.

For the fourth time, students and faculty from Hilliard Davidson High School will perform at the world's largest art festival.

Fifteen students will travel to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, departing Aug. 3 and returning Aug. 16. They'll perform John Cariani's play, "Almost, Maine," four times at the American High School Theatre Festival venue during the Fringe, promoting the show, and seeing the sights in Scotland and London.

For the Fringe's three weeks, the capital of Scotland is all a stage: Organizers said Fringe 2010 will feature 40,254 performances by 21,148 performers in 2,453 shows at 259 venues from August 6-30.

Davidson has been represented previously at Fringe, with productions of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown in 1998, Godspell in 2003 and School House Rock in 2007. Davidson was selected by the AHSTF board of advisers as one of the schools to represent the United States and Canada at the 2010 Fringe.

Last May, students auditioned for Almost, Maine. Those selected began rehearsing in December for two January performances, and have continued to rehearse on their own. Of course, they have also been raising the $5,500 per person needed to make the trip.

"It's like birthing a baby," said technical director Diana Evans Vance. "The whole part of getting there is like labor. You're raising all of this money, which is not what artists like to think about. Once you get all of the kids there and they've done their first performance, it's the most incredible experience ever for them. It's not anything you can replicate, because most schools don't do rolling rep. We literally will have two hours to rehearse. They have to figure it all out. The tech kids will have to learn new equipment they've never set hands on."

Prior to leaving for Scotland, the students will present a bon voyage production of Almost, Maine at 3 p.m. Sunday (August 1) in the Davidson High School Performing Arts Center. Admission is $5 at the door.

Almost, Maine is comprised of eight scenes set at the same time during the Northern Lights. The PG-13 play's scenes are centered on falling in and out of love.

"There's something really magical about it," director Trace Crawford said. "Literally there is, because in every single scene something magical happens, but there's something in it that really connects with people. When we did it back in January, watching the way people reacted to it, it really touched something that's universal."

One of the students in Almost, Maine is Michelle McPhillips, who plays two parts.

"I like how it's really relevant to today and modern," McPhillips said. "It's really different from anything else you'll see. The story is so cute."

McPhillips said the kids have raised funds by babysitting, holding a car wash, working at a horse show, worked concessions at Clippers games, holding a yard sale, setting up a wedding reception, yard work and painting a doctor's office.

"That's almost like making it more worthwhile, putting our own work into it, and it's making us all a lot closer, too," McPhillips said. "A lot of the people I knew before, but it wasn't until we had to put a show on and work to raise money that we've gotten really close and so excited to go over together."