Drama students raising money for Scotland trip

Fundraisers are planned in the next few weeks to help a team of Richland High drama students stage a production in Scotland at a prestigious theater festival.

Richland's theater arts department was picked to participate in the American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, which runs in conjunction with The Fringe festival. Seventeen students and seven adults are making the August trip.

They've been raising money since last year. A rummage sale is planned today in Richland and a book fair is June 26 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Kennewick. Students also are doing yard work and chores this summer to help pay for the trip.

In Scotland, they'll stage David Mamet's children's play, The Revenge of the Space Pandas, said Ellicia Mertens Elliott, Richland High theater arts director.

They'll also be able to see the work of other performers. The festival draws thousands to Edinburgh for the chance to see everything from plays to performance art.

The Richland students also will take part in an acting workshop at the Globe Theater in London.

Getting into the festival isn't easy. Schools must be nominated by a group that has gone before, and then are picked from a pool of applicants.

Richland High was one of 50 schools that made the cut from a pool of 2,100, Mertens Elliott said. She expects her students to gain a lot from the experience.

"They're going to learn how to live and work with other people. That is something that'll help them in college, in their careers," she said. "I'm also really excited for them to experience other cultures."

The trip is Aug. 2-16.

Here are fundraiser details:

-- Rummage sale, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. today in Fran Rish Stadium parking lot on Lee Boulevard.

-- Book fair, June 26, Barnes & Noble Booksellers at Columbia Center mall. People are asked to mention the theater arts department at the register. The book fair also will be online at bn.com/bookfairs starting June 26 for five days. The Richland High theater arts ID number is 10218014.

-- Students will do yard work and chores for donations. For details, call 627-5514.

-- People and businesses can place ads in the department's programs for next year and on T-shirts the students will wear during the festival. To make a donation, e-mail ellicia.elliott@ rsd.edu