Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Top Scottish Playwright Joins Pepperdine Students for Edinburgh Fringe Project


Top Scottish Playwright Joins Pepperdine Students for Edinburgh Fringe Project
Davey Anderson welcomed to Malibu as university prepares for a world premiere production at the world’s biggest arts festival

February 28, 2018 – Malibu, CA – A leading Scottish playwright has arrived in Malibu to work with Pepperdine University theatre students on a hard-hitting production that will have its world premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Davey Anderson, known for his work with the National Theatre of Scotland and many others, is spending a week with 18 students and key theatre department staff.
Their time will be spent developing the script of The Abode, Anderson’s new play focusing on the fate of a young American misfit seduced by the Alt-Right.
The university, through its Pepperdine Scotland exchange program, has an outstanding track record of collaborating with renowned Scottish theatre professionals to create award-winning productions.
Students covet the chance to be involved in the projects because they provide exceptional experience that can greatly benefit their future careers.
Anderson said: “I have a long-held fascination with American culture, so it’s a real pleasure to be part of Pepperdine’s transatlantic collaboration for 2018.
“I have been very much looking forward to this week as it is such an opportunity for us to explore and develop the script, with creative input coming from everyone involved.
“Pepperdine Scotland has earned itself an excellent reputation for tackling important contemporary social issues in a compelling way. The Abode is a hard-hitting story that we hope will build on this tradition.”
The play’s director is Cathy Thomas-Grant, Divisional Dean of Fine Arts, who heads the Pepperdine Scotland exchange and has served as director of Pepperdine's endeavors in Scotland since 2000.
In 2016 she directed Pepperdine Scotland’s Fringe production The Interference, which won a Scotsman Fringe First and Broadway Baby Bobby Award and was later staged at the Hollywood Fringe.
Thomas-Grant said: “The Edinburgh Fringe is the world’s biggest arts festival and being part of it is a remarkable experience for our students.
“We are privileged to have Davey Anderson on board—it’s a tremendous opportunity for our students to work with a much-admired Scottish playwright and to help create a cutting edge production that addresses important themes about society in America and worldwide.”
The play, which has echoes of Orpheus and the Underworld, is an attempt to understand how far-right political groups entice and recruit new members, and how their influence on the global stage has come to the fore so rapidly.
Christopher Jerabek, freshman, said: “I am so excited to be working with Davey Anderson on such a significant piece of theatre. It is rare for undergraduate students to receive such a great opportunity to tackle a global issue like the Alt-Right, and present it to the demographics that need to hear it. I look forward to seeing where this production goes, not just as a work of theatre but as a part of the justice movement it embodies.”
This year members of the university’s media production major will be involved as well, creating a documentary about the project.

The theatre school students will travel to Scotland in July where they will visit the Highlands learning about the country’s history, languages, and culture. They will also spend time working on the play in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The play will then be staged at the Fringe during the first half of August.


Notes for editors

About Pepperdine Scotland and Pepperdine University
·       Pepperdine Scotland is the award-winning cultural and artistic exchange between Pepperdine University's Department of Theatre and leading members of the Scottish Theatre Community.
·       In 2016 Pepperdine Scotland presented The Interference, by Scottish playwright Linda Radley, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which later went on to be staged at the Hollywood Fringe.
·       In 2012 Pepperdine Scotland’s inaugural project was a collaboration with playwright Peter Arnott and actor/musician John Kielty entitled Why Do You Stand There In The Rain? which also won a Fringe First award.
·       Pepperdine has been performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 1985 and is proud to have expanded its presence in Scotland through the Pepperdine Scotland exchange.
·       Pepperdine is a Christian university committed to the highest standards of academic excellence, where students are strengthened for lives of purpose, service, and leadership. To learn more about Pepperdine's Department of Theatre or about the University in general please visit
·       To find out more about Pepperdine Scotland please visit

About Davey Anderson
·       Anderson is a writer, director and musician whose plays include Snuff, Wired, Rupture, Liar, Blackout, Clutter Keeps Company, Playback, Scavengers, and The Static. His work with the National Theatre of Scotland includes To Begin, Enquirer, Peter Pan, Architecting, Be Near Me, Mixter Maxter, Black Watch, Home, and most recently (as writer and Associate Director), Anything That Gives Off Light, which was co-produced with the TEAM and premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival 2016.
·       Adaptations include Dead Man Dying by Estebán Navajas Cortés, Thieves and Boy by Hao Jingfang, and The War Hasn't Started Yet by Mikhail Durnenkov. In 2014 he co-created and performed How to Choose with Trigger and was co-writer of The Jean Jacques Rousseau ShowDemons and The Deficit Show for A Play, a Pint and a Pint at Oran Mor, Glasgow.
·       His short plays for Theatre Uncut include True or False and Police State, a co-production with Theatre Dot, Istanbul.
·       He has worked with many theatre companies across Scotland and the UK, including The Arches, Traverse, Tron, Citizens, 7:84, Grey Coast, Ankur, Birds of Paradise, Visible Fictions, ThickSkin, Donmar Warehouse, and the National Theatre of Great Britain. Recent international collaborations have taken him to Limerick, Lisbon, São Paulo, Beijing, and Montréal. 

About Cathy Thomas-Grant
·       Thomas-Grant heads the Pepperdine Scotland exchange and has served as director of Pepperdine's endeavors in Scotland since 2000.
·       Edinburgh Festival Fringe directing credits include Mr. Happiness/The Water Engine by David Mamet (2002), Eve Ensler's Necessary Targets (2006), Robert Shenkkan's The Kentucky Cycle (2008), Karen Sunde's The Fastest Woman Alive and Naomi Iizuka's Language of Angels (2010), Why Do You Stand There In The Rain? (2012 Scotsman Fringe First Award winner), Forget Fire (2014), The Interference (2016 Scotsman Fringe First and Broadway Baby Bobby Award Winner), and Musical Direction for The Grapes of Wrath (2004).

CONTACT: Tyler Flynn
Marketing and Publicity Manager
Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts, Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90263
(310) 506-4055

Matthew Shelley
Scottish Festivals PR
07786 704299
01887 840346

Click here to download the full press release.