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Edinburgh Fringe Festival

October 5, 2010

Photograph of 5 students in Edinburgh with water in the backgroundTaylor Mondak, Entertainment & Arts Management senior, travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland this past summer to get a first hand look at the world’s largest live arts festival. Here’s what Taylor had to say about her experiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival below.

For the month of August 2010, a group of five Drexel students from the Entertainment & Arts Management program traveled to Edinburgh, UK for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Accompanied by Professor Dr. Xela Batchelder and in cahoots with a comedy troupe called Baby Wants Candy, we were able to experience the insanity that is the Fringe. The pace of life is so much faster than campus and there was never a dull moment: street performers running around at all hours, flyers and promoters galore, and 2,500 shows in one month!

Baby Wants Candy, a comedy troupe from Chicago and Los Angeles, performed an improvised hour-long musical.  It was a treat being able to watch the six performers skillfully master it night after night. As the ‘Associate Producers,’ we were responsible for marketing, but it encompassed so much more than the word suggests. The Fringe Festival is an ‘open festival,’ meaning that anyone and everyone can set up shop and perform a show or promote a performance without prior notice (just don’t expect to get into a venue without booking ahead). With so many shows going on, we really had to be creative to stand out from the hoards. As the festival progressed, I learned how to talk to people, pitching a sale and when to back away, all skills that I can use in my future.

I learned so much about running a show, working at a venue, planning a tour and being on the production side of the business that I never would have in the classroom. I still can’t believe it’s over and I’m already looking for any excuse to go back! Scotland is such a fascinating country. The people are very friendly and helpful and the city is so clean! Seeing another culture and perspective changed my way of seeing the world around me and I think I’ve walked away with a degree of clarity that wasn’t there before. I was humbled by what I experienced, the people I met and the connections I made.  Without question, I would definitely recommend studying abroad for everyone at Drexel.

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