At the end of May, a group of Highlands High School students premiered the play Escape Routes at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Fort Thomas Matters first covered the show's trip to the festival by speaking with writer and co-director Ben Eglian and co-director Kaiya Linkugel in the days leading up to the premiere. During the festival, Escape Routes quickly won over audiences in the Cincinnati area, and was presented an award for their theatrical achievements. Fort Thomas Matters recently caught up with Eglian again to discuss the impact that Escape Route's experience at Fringe Fest has left on him.
Eglian's show was part of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival's high school division, FringeNext, which features four shows that were carefully chosen to perform at the festival. FringeNext was created to help showcase new talent and encourage teenagers to push the limits of their creative abilities. Escape Routes left a mark on audiences, and the production walked away with the FringeNext Audience Pick award for their performances at the festival. “The day I got this award was probably the best day of my life. It was the most insane thing because I had to go up and give a speech the night that I won and stuff. It was just incredible, absolutely incredible. There weren't really any words,” said Eglian.