It's not an exaggeration to say that New Albany High School's summer production of "Pippin" will be performed on an international-caliber stage.
Later this month, New Albany theater students will travel to Scotland to perform for an audience of high schoolers from throughout North America and others who attend the annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a large arts festival in the Scottish city for which it is named. The festival is held most of the month of August.
But first, the students will perform the musical Friday, July 19, through Sunday, July 21, at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, 100 W. Dublin-Granville Road.
Performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. July 19 and 20 and at 2:30 p.m. July 20 and 21. Tickets cost $12 for general admission and $8 for students, senior citizens and New Albany-Plain Local School District staff members. They may be purchased at seatyourself.biz/nahs or at the door.
The students' trip abroad will be part of the American High School Theatre Festival, held every year during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The trip requires a nomination from an industry professional, said theater director Elliott Lemberg.
This is the second time the school's theater students have participated in the festival, he said. They went in 2014, and after participating, groups aren't eligible to go again until at least two years later, he said.
Twelve students will go on the 15-day trip through a combination of self-funding and funding from the high school's theater department, Lemberg said. The cost for the trip is $6,000 per participant, but the theater boosters club was able to reduce the cost for each student by more than $1,000, he said.
The journey will begin in London, where students have three days to explore the city, Lemberg said. They will see two shows in the city's West End and learn about the culture of England and the United Kingdom, he said.
In Edinburgh, students will meet other high schoolers performing in the American High School Theatre Festival, Lemberg said.
"It's not only fun, but they get to learn a lot," he said.
The experience gives the students an opportunity to learn what it's like to work in a professional theater while gaining such useful skills as problem solving, collaboration and time management, he said.
And though each production will be viewed by those high school peers, audience members also will include patrons of the festival, Lemberg said.
Nash Feiler, a 16-year-old junior who is playing the production's titular character, a prince who is searching for a meaningful life, said he thinks seeing other students work could help him learn.
He also said performing in a foreign country for a new audience would be different.
"It's completely unique," Feiler said.
Ash Wilson, a 17-year-old senior and co-stage manager for "Pippin," said she is looking forward to seeing how other productions differ from those in New Albany and Columbus.
She said she hopes the experience will motivate her to continue pursuing theater, possibly as a career.