Sweet Briar actors take UK stage

| August 5, 2013

Members of the Sweet Briar Theatre traveled to Scotland this week to participate in the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Led by theater director Bill Kershner, the troupe is performing “Chops,” an original play by Kirin McCrory, on Aug. 5, 6, 8 and 9.

Molly Harper ’13 hands out flyers on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town for the SB Theatre performance of “Chops.”

Among the actors are Sweet Briar students and recent alumnae, including Molly Harper ’13, Tiffany Marr ’11, Charlotte Hopkins ’15, Annabel Wallace ’15, Sarah Capen ’15, Jesse Schaaf ’15 and Catherine Ramos ’13, with Julia Cameron ’14 and Jackie Merritt ’11 backstage. “Chops” is part of Fringe’s International Collegiate Theatre Festival and one of more than 850 theater acts overall. The festival also includes children’s shows, comedy, cabaret, dance, opera and musical theater.

Set in the 19th century in a small American town, “Chops” is “full of clever dialogue and plot twists,” according to the Fringe Festival website. Men have been mysteriously disappearing, and the women think they know that the new arrival in town [Molly Harper] is responsible. When they arrive to confront her, another body is discovered on the floor.

As most comedies go, nothing is as it seems,” Harper said. “It’s quite a funny piece.”

For McCrory, it’s the first time a play of hers has been staged abroad — a big deal to the Brooklyn-based playwright.

From bottom left, clockwise: Charlotte Hopkins, Kirin McCrory, Annabel Wallace, Jesse Schaaf, Sarah Capen, Molly Harper, Catherine Ramos and Tiffany Marr.

“I’m always happy for any opportunity for real people to work on my plays, and I consider it a compliment that Bill and the ladies wanted to work on my play for such an amazing opportunity,” she said.

McCrory was there for the premiere on Monday and will stay for Tuesday’s performance before heading back home.

“I’ve seen the play staged before, but never with the changes I made for Bill for the purpose of bringing it to the Fringe, so that was really exciting,” she said. “Some of them work so well that I’m thinking about keeping them.”

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival was established in 1947 and is one of the largest arts festivals in the world. For more information, visit www.edfringe.com. To learn more about the play and its author, visit kirinmccrory.com.

Janika Carey

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Category: Performing Arts, Theatre Arts