"An Endangered Species: Waking Up" to be presented as dessert theatre to raise funds

Thursday, July 15, 2004
As "Erik", played by Joel Boyd (kneeling center), asks why he has been diagnosed with HIV, his friends and girlfriend, as played by Brent Boyd, Jessica Hill, Will Mobley, Whitney Conley and Maggie Sain, show fear and confusion in the Rector High School production of "An Endangered Species: Waking Up" by Kathy Sorenson. (Democrat photo/Jennifer Vernon)

It's been a busy year for the students in the Rector High School Drama Department.

In May of 2003 the students received an invitation to perform at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, this August. The Fringe Festival is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest performing arts festival and last for three weeks. The school's participation will be through the American High School Theatre Festival (AHSTF).

In addition to visiting Scotland for 10 days, the students will spend two nights in London, England. During the journey, the students will perform at the Fringe four times and have the opportunity to attend some of the other 1,600 productions that will be taking place. They will also attend a spectacular event at Edinburgh Castle, The Military Tattoo, and see other sights.

The piece selected for performance at the Fringe is "An Endangered Species: Waking Up" by Kathy Sorenson. The show was the troupe's spring production.

Fundraisers for the trip began immediately after the invitation was issued. The students have sold school throws, worked a corn field, sold t-shirts, sno-cones, jewelry, Avon and Christmas Wreaths in their quest to make it to Scotland. They have also waited tables for tips at the Clay County Arts Council's "Celebration of the Arts", held RHS Drama night at Pizza Hut in Kennett, as well as at Fazoli's in Jonesboro this past Tuesday and Cafe Bueno, also in Jonesboro, on Friday, July 9.

The final payment for Scotland is rapidly approaching and the students are still in need of the community's financial aid. In addition to the approximate cost of the trip per student, which is $4,234, the troupe will have to pay additional fees for set piece rental and treatment of certain items to meet the rigid fire codes in Scotland.

Troupe sponsor Gail Burns said, "We are down to two students who need sponsorship to make the final payment. We need $3,000 to have our dream met. The troupe members are greatly appreciative of the community support issued given to them over this year. Please help in this last effort on Friday."

Currently, the students are giving away a scooter donated by Sain's Argo and two silver bracelets. Tickets for the giveaways may be purchased from any RHS Theatre Troupe member at the cost of $1 a ticket or 6 tickets for $5. Students will be at Harps from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 15, and 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, July 16, to sell tickets.

The drawing for the items will be held on Friday, July 16, at the community presentation of the troupe's production of "An Endangered Species: Waking Up" by Kathy Sorenson. The show will be presented as a dessert theatre at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the show will be $8 and the last day to reserve tickets will be Thursday, July 15.

Donations will be greatly appreciated. Persons may make a donation by contacting Gail Burns at 870-595-1444 or by writing her at Rector Drama Department, Box 367, Rector, Arkansas, 72461.

For more information about the AHSTF persons may visit the organization's website: http://www.ahstf.com/

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