Across the Pond: CalArts Contingent Heads to Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Marissa Chibas

Marissa Chibas in 'Daugher of a Cuban Revolutionary' | Photo: Steven A. Gunther

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Each summer Edinburgh, Scotland, becomes the focal point of the international arts and theater spectrum, with seven festivals taking over the Scottish capital in August. The largest and most influential of these is Festival Fringe, which last year staged a staggering 2,453 shows and more than 40,000 performances.

Performers and production team members from CalArts enter the fray next week, mounting six shows during the festival’s three weeks (Aug. 5-29).

The majority of the works produced by CalArts Festival Theater will take place at Venue 13, which was launched in 1996 by the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to promote new Welsh talent on a world stage. For the past eight seasons, Venue 13 has been run in collaboration with CalArts, presenting productions from emerging artists from both Wales and California.

Here are the CalArts Festival Theater productions at the Edinburgh Fringe:

  • Broken Wing, directed and conceived by Leila Ghaznavi (Theater MFA 10), is a “theatrical exploration of good intentions gone wrong in the Middle East,” centered around the Damascus rose harvests in rural Iran. Its sister piece, Silken Veils, also created by Ghaznavi, was nominated for a Fringe First Award 2010. Using multimedia and puppetry to tell modern Iranian history, it’s being re-staged this year at Assembly George Square (and not Venue 13).
  • Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary is CalArts faculty member Marissa Chibas‘ autobiographical solo show that focuses on post-revolutionary Cuba, centering on the lives of her father Raul Chibas, co-author of the manifesto for revolution; her mother Dalia Chibas, runner-up for Miss Cuba; and her uncle Eduardo Chibas, frontrunner for the Cuban presidency.
  • Flesh Eating Tiger, written by Amy Tofte (Theater MFA 11), was developed further in a laboratory setting with actors Sam Breen (Theater MFA 11) and Gabriela Trigo-McIntyre (Theater MFA 12) last fall. The play examines a relationship under the influence of addiction with bits of dark comedy.
  • Hôtel de l’avenir is a play by performer-director Alexis Macnab (Theater MFA 13) that’s inspired by Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. The setting is a Parisian hotel where a few strangers seek shelter for the night. The production features a clown, shadow puppets, accordion and cancan.
  • Little Eyolf is one of Henrik Ibsen’s lesser-known works, but this production—directed by Julianne Just (Theater MFA 12)—experiments with Ibsen’s powerful text by adding a strong physical vocabulary and a soundscape made up of improvised sounds, including army drill songs, pop classics and Top-40 hits.

Keep reading 24700 for updates from the Festival over the next few weeks.

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