Eighteen US theatre students are being deeply immersed in contemporary and traditional Scottish culture before presenting the world premiere of a new play by Davey Anderson at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Exposure to Scotland's performing arts sector (and the chance to be part of the world's largest arts festival) provide an unbeatable opportunity to help prepare talented young people hoping for a bright future in US theatre, TV and film.
Pepperdine Scotland's biennial cultural exchange programme allows students from Malibu's Pepperdine University to work with a leading Scottish playwright and to gain insights from top directors, musicians, actors, commentators and others.
This year's line-up includes Cora Bissett and Peter Arnott plus journalist Mark Fisher, actor Isobel McArthur, producer Stephanie Hunter and musician Annie Grace. They will also meet Lynda Radley who wrote The Interference, the play which, in 2016, earned Pepperdine Scotland its second Fringe First award.
Student Leyla Dillig said, "It was a transforming experience to learn Scotland's history in a way I have never experienced before. I found it inspiring to learn about ceilidh tradition and its influence on theatre making in this country. It was immensely helpful in understanding how Scottish theatre impacts both local communities and national culture, and it put us in a great place to begin working on a Scottish Theatre inspired piece ourselves."
The group is now in Glasgow where they are rehearsing The Abode, Anderson's new play which addresses the appeal of Alt Right extremism among certain disenchanted young, white, working class American men.
Photograph by Julia Donlon: Leyla Dillig second from left.