This summer, students from Kits Studio (the Performing Arts Department at Kitsilano Secondary School) traveled from the West Coast to bring a little laughter to the beautiful city of Edinburgh for the famous Edinburgh Fringe. The Edinburgh Fringe is the largest and most prestigious arts festival in the World.
The students joined 10,000 other performers who put on 1,800 different performances of music, theatre, dance, and comedy during the festival's three week run.
Kits Studio performed the classic by John Lazarus Village of Idiots, which tells the story of Yosef, a Russian army deserter, who finds himself in the improbably strange village of Chelm. Yosef marvels at the innocently idiotic antics of the townsfolk, eventually learning to understand the Chelmnik ways and successfully combating a Cossack attack.
Kits Studio has long been recognized for its entertaining and innovative productions. It was selected by the American High School Theatre Festival Board of Advisors to perform as part of the 2012 AHSTF program at the Fringe. The Board identifies the top secondary schools based on their most recent bodies of work, awards, community involvement, philosophies and recommendations.
Recently, a Kits team also snapped up second place at the National Canadian Improv Games in Ottawa during April 2012. The school's powerful improvisational theatre tradition led to a winning streak in the Canadian Improv Games since it took home top prize in the national tournament in Ottawa in 2006. The junior improv team placed second in the province at the Canadian Improv Games in 2009 and 2011, and first in the province in 2010.
In addition to its top showing in improv, Kits Studio is also launching the musical Aladdin this year. Aladdin comes on the heals of five years of successful musicals, including Drowsy Chaperone, Sweeney Todd, South Pacific, Oliver! and The Wiz. The shows were produced under the direction of drama teacher Julie Bond who also engaged professional music directors and choreographers to support her and her students.
Senior productions, which challenged Kitsilano actors and designers to take on the classics have included the controversial 2012 production of Spring Awakening, The Cherry Orchard, Taming of the Shrew, Our Town and School for Scandal. Junior Productions (Grade 8-10) were directed and crewed by senior students include 2012's Penny Candy, Anne of Green Gables, Optica Delusions, a junior musical in coordination with UBC's Children's Opera Ensemble, a film and puppet shows for Vancouver School Board Seismic Visioning, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and Alice in Wonderland.