For many, going to the mecca of all Fringe Festival is the ultimate. And that is exactly what a young and talented troupe from Castle Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) have done. Flying all the way to Edinburgh, Scotland. We just had to ask them a few questions before they flew away. O’ahu Fringe tracked down their fearless leader, Ms Karen Meyer.

To lead a young group from Hawai’i, you have got to be a very fearless leader. How fearless are you really?
I’m not afraid of much. And if you are well rehearsed and surround yourself with wonderfully talented, creative, and supportive people, there’s not much to fear!

I am sure the students will really enjoy this amazing trip. What is the feeling right now with the CPAC ‘ohana?
The anticipation is tangible! Most all the kids – and chaperones for that matter – have never been out of the country. They have worked so hard all year it’s difficult to believe the time is so close!

How did you choose which student would participate on this Fringe journey?
We had several informational meetings last year at this time and any public school student that wanted to perform, and committed to the payment schedule, fundraising and rehearsals could come! We have 22 students from four different schools going on the trip!

What information did the students have about the “fringe concept” prior to being involved?
Well, most are CPAC students so they have heard stories about the first time we went in 2009. They knew we had to do a bare-bones abridged version show – I don’t think they were quite prepared for the tech elements in that we are SO spoiled at Castle! When we mount a production, we do everything that is expected, Brigadoon vanishes, the Wizard of Oz flies away in a balloon, we build a Victorian house – but that’s not what the Fringe is about!

Tell us a little about the CPAC production you will showcase?
We are performing an 80 minute version of George and Ira Gershwin’s “Crazy for You”, it’s a big Broadway musical in every sense of the word.

What can the audience members expect to see?
Lots of pretty chorus girls, funny characters, tap dancing, old time familiar songs like “I Got Rhythm” and “Embraceable You”.

Are you part of a larger High School event with other schools or are you traveling only as CPAC?
No we were chosen to be part of the American High School Theatre Festival, which is the largest sub-festival producing group at the Fringe. Each year they choose about 20 groups from the US and Canada to represent their countries and communities to participate. The group is first nominated and is reviewed through a competitive process, so it’s quite the honor!

I know some of your students have been busking as part of your fundraising drive. What has that experience been like, as I understand the word “busking” is not a common word here?
No – most of us have just gotten used to this. Tap dance lends itself to busking quite well as little explanation is needed. And it has been pretty profitable! Many other shows, genres and events we produce really don’t fit with busking!

Yes, busking is a great way to expose them to the idea of promoting their work on the streets when they get to EDFringe and performing on the Royal Mile. How ready are the students for performing at EDFringe and the Royal Mile?
Ready and Set! We even have a formal time booked for one of the presentation stages – Thursday, August 14th @ 1250pm! See following link for their show dates CPAC @ EDFringe.

Thank you.
For more information, and to follow their Fringe adventure, please like the Facebook page of Castle Performing Arts Centre.

O’ahu Fringe Festival wishes the students, staff and their support crew all the very best on their journey to the original fringe: Edinburgh Festival Fringe.