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UW Students at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Submitted by Katrina M Ernst on July 8, 2014 - 4:01pm
The Waste Land Sisters
Heather Coit, Hannah Ruwe, Sylvia Kowalski, and Spencer Hamp in 'The Waste Land Sisters'

From July 29 to August 30, fourteen University of Washington undergraduate students will travel to the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival with School of Drama professors Andrew Tsao and L. Zane Jones. The course is sponsored by UW Study Abroad, and will focus on the study and experience of current global trends in theatrical practice, with an emphasis on viewing and critiquing international work. Professor Tsao has led previous study abroad trips to Edinburgh, as well as Pontlevoy, France.

Over the course of the month, the students will see a world of new theatre and performance at the largest and oldest international performing arts festival of its kind, while living in one of Europe’s great cultural centers. They will also participate in a unique range of workshops, classes and excursions designed to build fluency in the common language of the dramatic arts, while having the opportunity to meet artists and students from around the world.

The 14 participating students come from a variety of backgrounds and academic interests, including Drama, Nursing, English, Interdisciplinary Arts, and Environmental Science.

In addition to the study abroad participants, three recent Drama grads and one current student will perform at the festival in the world premiere of Andrew Tsao’s The Waste Land Sisters. Sylvia Kowalski, Hannah Ruwe (BA 2014), Spencer Hamp (BA 2014), and Heather Coit (BA 2014) play Olya, Masha, Andre, and Irina from Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters. Trapped in time and space, Chekhov’s iconic “perform” T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land as a means to explore, understand and perhaps escape their dreary, unfulfilled lives. Performances are August 14-24 at Summerhall’s Anatomy Lecture Theatre. Bobbin Ramsey (BA ’13) serves as the Production Stage Manager and Markie Miller (BA ’09) as the Costume and Production Designer.

You can follow the company on their adventure at and Also be sure to come back to our blog later this summer for a closer look into the experience as written by student and The Waste Land Sisters cast member Sylvia Kowalski. Sylvia will share with us more about the devising and rehearsal process, as well as her experiences performing at the festival.

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