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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

U.S. theatre walks off with Edinburgh Fringe award

U.S. theatre company The TEAM has been awarded this year's Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) Fringe prize to enable a company appearing in the Fringe to develop new ideas and talent, the EIF announced on Monday.

The 10,000-pound award went to New York-based The TEAM for its production of "Mission Drift" at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre as part of the Fringe which runs in parallel with the EIF in the world's biggest annual arts showcase.

The terms of the award expect the company to bring a "work in progress," not necessarily a full production, to be presented at next year's international festival.

"Edinburgh Festival Fringe sees a rush of exciting artists present their work in what remains an epic showcase for the performing arts," said EIF Director Jonathan Mills.

"The Edinburgh International Fringe Prize brings a fresh opportunity for some of the most innovative of these artists to develop new ideas and conversations."

More than a record 21,000 performers flocked to the Fringe this year with over 2,540 shows.

Mission Drift was described as "a pioneering journey west and east across the USA in search of the character of American capitalism."

"Told through atomic blasts, lizard ballet, and music that fuses Vegas glitz with Western ballads, it follows the story of an immortal Dutch couple, forever 14, setting out west from Amsterdam to New Amsterdam (New York) to financially devastated modern-day Las Vegas."

Asked about future plans, Rachel Chavkin, director of the 13-member The TEAM, told Reuters the company had discussed a number of different ideas.

She said she had also started discussing a new idea "that right now I'm calling 'Primer for a Failed Superpower'."

"That would be in part, I think, a love letter to our children to let them know what it was like to have been in America, particularly to have come of age in the 1980s when we all came of age. So that's possibly one thing we're going to begin working on."

The TEAM (the Theatre of the Emerging American Moment) is dedicated "to dissecting and celebrating the experience of living in America today."

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