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Musical to be presented

A group of Van Buren students traveling to Scotland this summer will perform “Snoopy! The Musical” at the Center for Art and Education Saturday as one of their last fundraisers for the trip.

Based on characters from the Charles M. Schulz comic strip Peanuts, the show is appropriate for children of all ages.

Tickets for the 1 p.m. show are $5 each, but only 50 tickets total are available. Cast members will be available for photos after the show at the center, located at 104 N. 13th St. in Van Buren.

Proceeds from the show are going to help the 13 cast and crew members, along with three adults, travel to Edinburgh, Scotland, to attend the American High School Theatre Festival, slated for Aug. 10-23 and held in conjunction with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Students and parents have been working to raise money for the two-week trip since the Van Buren High School theater department was accepted into the AHSTF in the summer of 2012.

With a goal of $96,000, all but $7,000 has already been collected, said parent Donna Young. If they reach their goal, costs for all 16 will be covered, she said.

“Basically, if a kid got on the plane and had no money, they would be fine,” Young said.

Part of the festival expense includes workshop fees and shows in London prior to the festival in Edinburgh, Young said.

Top high school theater programs perform at local thespian festivals before being nominated by those in the theater community to participate in the festival. This is the first time VBHS has been accepted to an international theater festival.

Van Buren High School was one of 24 schools nationwide chosen to go to Edinburgh this year, from the 3,000 that were nominated and applied.

Jessica Fisher, drama instructor at VBHS, chose the cast and crew of “Snoopy! The Musical” because of the smaller cast, nominal props and lack of costume changes, Young said.

“She had to pick a play that we could carry to Scotland; that’s how she picked ‘Snoopy,’” Young said.

Students will perform the play four times on stage and give one street performance during the festival, Young said.

The Fringe Festival, which lasts three weeks, includes more than 1,800 different performances of music, theater, dance and comedy.

Several more fundraisers for the trip are slated in the coming weeks, including a performance of “Stuart Little” by the Van Buren School District Children’s Theatre Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and a garage sale June 14 and 16.

Donations also are being solicited, Young said.

“We’re committed to going; if we have to borrow the money, we’re going,” Young said.

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