At the beginning of this past weekend, Fringe University hosted a meet and greet for university students to mingle and network with one another. It was held in Summerhall in the early afternoon, most certainly conducive to the young adults' sleeping schedules. The room was bustling and full of goodies, ranging from coffee and tea to cookies and donuts. Fringe U. business cards and flyers for the big Fringe University project of the summer, the Traverse Through Time lecture series, were scatted on the counters amongst the sweets and treats. Several people wandered in during the hour and a half we were there. Some were students and others were there to present work at Summerhall. Regardless of their origin, we were happy to meet with and speak to them about their projects and goals.
One woman who seemed to just happen upon us, Maria, spoke with many of us about her project called Long Distance Affair. The effort is a cooperation between directors, producers, and actors worldwide who have never met before. The exhibit is interactive, as visitors walk around a room to various computer screens where different plays are acted out by one person from and in a different country. Over 30 artists from five continents are participants, and it is on at Summerhall through the 25th with five performances daily. Two girls came in about a half hour into our event with huge bags, grasping everyone's attention. After settling in, they spoke with me and told me they had just arrived in town. They saw the event in the Fringe book and wanted to check it out! It turns out the two are from a town just outside of Glasgow. The one I was mainly talking to, Kim, had recently completed a program with one of Edinburgh's theater companies. She has had and is also planning some awesome adventures for being just 16 years old, and speaking with her was truly fascinating.
Though there weren't a large number of people, the event seemed successful. People were able to come in and share their experiences and knowledge with others. The cool part was that even people who had no idea what Fringe University is found the event attractive enough to come, creating a very thrilling environment.