"It was like being struck by lightening," smiled Robert Putka, drama teacher at Stow-Munroe Falls High School. "To be nominated is one thing, to be accepted is another."
In August, members of the high school drama club are headed to Edinburgh, Scotland to perform in the American High School Theatre Festival, which is part of the Fringe Festival.
Putka said the club was nominated by Eric van Baars, an associate theater professor at Kent State University. Van Baars nominated several schools in Northeast Ohio, and SMFHS was the only one chosen to complete an application for approval.
"Just because you're nominated, doesn't mean you're accepted," Putka said. "After talking to the parents and the students, we decided to just go for it and fill out an application to go."
Putka went through a lengthy process of gathering recommendation letters, compiling still shots from previous plays or musicals and completing the application. Putka found out they were accepted into the program in May 2012.
SMFHS is the only high school from Ohio going to Edinburgh, and one of between 50-60 high schools in the country. The group leaves Aug. 9 and returns Aug. 23.
"We've been fundraising for this ever since then," Putka said. "The only bad part is this trip is cost prohibitive for some of the students. It's $6,000 for each kid."
There are 11 students who want to go and a twelfth if the team can raise enough money.
"We've done candy sales, sold coupon books, car washes," Putka said. "We're looking for sponsors and possibly hosting a benefit dinner with a performance."
The club also formed "Stow You Think You Can Dance," They're also thinking about hosting a rummage sale.
Putka said he will also go on stage wearing a kilt at the junior play and spring musical if the desired amount of donations is met by audience members.
"People talk about Stow pride, this is a big deal," Putka said. "For us to go to an international festival and perform for people from all over the world is huge. In my eyes, it's bigger than say a basketball team going to state."
The students will perform "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Unabridged," a comedy, Putka said.
"We're just shy of being halfway paid up," Putka said. "But we need more help."
Junior Wyatt Hayes is excited to perform overseas.
"We've all worked hard for what we've accomplished," Hayes said. "I'm excited for the fact that we were chosen. It's a once in a lifetime deal."
Senior Sarah Marmash agreed. She's a behind the scenes tech and director.
"We deserve this," Marmash said. "We have a fantastic program. It's a once in a lifetime chance and I get to go right before college."
If you want to donate to the trip, visit www.myfot.org.