Local donation allows theater troupe to perform internationally

Thanks to a group of Rowlett community members, several Rowlett High School students will soon make their dreams a reality. They will travel to Edinburgh, Scotland this summer to perform with the Eagle Theatre Company.

As one of just 20 schools across the globe chosen to participate in the 2018 American High School Theatre Festival, RHS students have been raising money all year long to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They recently received their final donation from the Rowlett Lions Club when members surprised them with a $5,000 check during Rowlett’s end-of-the-year theater banquet. The organization said it was happy to support such local talent.

“We support children of all sorts and shapes and sizes to make them better in the world, and we’re here because the children of the school have done a fantastic job [being invited] to this festival in Edinburgh,” said member Robbert van Bloemendaal. “We find that this is a very worthwhile cause because they are a small group within the country noted for their outstanding behavior.”

The Eagle Theatre Company will now travel to Scotland July 29-Aug. 11, performing in four different venues and socializing with other troupes from around the world. The unique piece they are taking on the road is an original production by RHS director Brandon Tijerina, which includes no speaking. Students will also take master classes in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre while overseas.

“We’re very excited for Scotland,” said Tijerina. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for them. The Fringe Festival is the largest performing arts festival in the entire world. They’ll literally be immersed in the arts for the entire time that they’re there.”

And, the Edinburgh invitation in not the only honor the Eagle Theatre Company has received this year.

“Rowlett High School again just proved how good they are with the Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards,” said GISD Board of Trustees Assistant Secretary Larry Glick. “They had the most nominations and tied one other high school with three awards at that presentation. They continually are the program in our district, and that’s what makes this community so excited—to know that right here in Rowlett, we have one of the top theater companies in the United States.”