The 24 Hour Play Project (Part 1)

Two posts in one week! I am on a roll! Zasa has suggested that my contributions to the blog consist of my adventures in college. Well, that is exactly what I intend to do today!

For those of you who don’t know, I attend a very small liberal arts college in Kentucky called Berea College. What is so great about this college is the fact that they pay tuition for all of their students. We also all have jobs on campus to help pay off term bills that include our books, room/board, and other fees. In essence, I am going to a college where I could graduate virtually debt free which is a goal I am hoping to achieve. But I’ll discuss the actual college in another post at some random time in the future.

At Berea, we do what’s called short term. During the month of January, we take one class everyday while also fulfilling our labor requirements. The great thing about the class we choose to take is that it’s usually the fun classes not offered during the regular semesters. We’re talking about things like scuba diving and Danish gymnastics, knitting and Albert Hitchcock film studies. You name it, then something similar to it has more than likely been offered at some point. Many students also take the time to do classes abroad in an array of countries throughout the world. I can not wait until I get my chance to do that. Of course, being a freshman, I’m not allowed to take a short term class offered off campus or study abroad or anything cool just yet.

However, I managed to find a thrilling class that made the month of January worth my while. Whoever would have thought that I would get to start the month of January in style. I have a secret to reveal:

I…am a THEATRE MAJOR

I know, right? That’s like, not even what most people go to college for. (Of course I failed to mention that I’m actually double majoring and will be majoring in psychology as well, but at the moment, that information is irrelevant.) Well, as a theatre major, and as one who spent 4 years of high school devoting every second of my time to the performing arts, I am trying to get my foot in the door with college theatre. And how better to do that than with a theatre class offered during short term?

THE 24 HOUR PLAY PROJECT

Sounds intense doesn’t it?

And it is intense. Now maybe you (the reader) have no clue what the crap this class is about. Fair enough. Let me educate you: Throughout the month of January, my class and I have been learning the basics of crafting a production. This includes:

  • playwrighting
  • directing
  • costuming
  • set construction
  • lighting
  • acting
  • sound
  • etc.

But come this Wednesday (Jan. 27th) at 8 p.m. central time, we are going to lock ourselves in the theater and we will have 24 hours to do all of the things listed above. And when I say 24 hours, I literally mean twenty-four hours because the following day (Thursday the 28th) at 8 p.m. central time, we are going to perform this wonderful work of art for the community.

Are you feeling the heat yet?

I’m guessing that some of you may not see the merit in this, and that’s ok. I’ll help you by saying that a typical production done on a college level takes a minimum of 7 weeks of rehearsal time not counting the time it takes for the directors/producers to pick a play and start preparing for it by asking for the rights to produce it, ordering scripts, picking show dates, and all of the other necessary actions needed before auditions can even be held. 7 weeks of work will be condensed into just 24 hours. Now are you with me?

I can honestly say that I am up for that kind of a challenge. I mean, I am a theatre major after all. I don’t expect it to be easy. Despite being familiar with all things theatre related, I don’t expect this to be a piece of cake. But I do think this will be a very rewarding experience. I mean, how often do you stay up 24 hours working on a project that is meant to be this fun?

All of our days of duck duck goose and musical chairs and dodge ball are about to pay off with this one night. (Yes, we did really play all of those games in class, but trust me, they were more relevant than you think.) We’ve learned the basics of improv, how to hang lights, how to run the soundboard, how to work with what we’ve got onstage…we can’t build a set, but we can use the rehearsal blocks and the platforms that have been built for the next show opening in February. We have access to some of the costume pieces in our reservoir and whatever we have in our dorm rooms. We’ve done advertising. We’ve already assigned roles…I think this experience is going to be one worth watching.

And I want to share that experience with the faithful readers of AT4YT. This is just pre-24 hour stuff. I’m sure there will be a great story to tell after the 24 hours is up. Theatre is like one big playground and anything can happen. And knowing those of us in this class, just about anything will happen. They say if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. I plan on running head first into the fire and there is no turning back…

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What's Welsh in origin and means "Good lance?" [♥]R[♥]H[♥]O[♥]N[♥]D[♥]A[♥] Spell the name right. There is an H and there is an N. - I'm everything I am and nothing that I'm not. - I love theatre. It is my life. - Bonjour. Je parle français. Oui. C'est la vie. Oui. C'est ma vie. - I'm into photography. Nothing special. :] - I basically live for children's media: book, television, toys, whatever. - My dream job is to work for the Crayola Company. - I love arts n' crafts. I am "artistically inclined." - I love my friends more than anything, and I am the most loyal person you will ever meet. - Yes, I live off of sarcasm. - I'm a dreamer. Whether my dreams come true or not is completely irrelevant.

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