The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

A day onstage

Tonight and tomorrow, Grinnell students and alumni will spend 24 hours crafting plays from conception to completion, known as the 24 Hour Theatre Project, which confines the writing, casting, rehearsal and performance of a set of plays to a single day. The results are as varied as the project’s participants and range from comedies to emotionally-fraught dramas.

For Isabel Cooke ’16, who participated in Grinnell’s first foray into 24 Hour Theatre last fall, the project represents an opportunity to be involved in acting without taking on the time commitment of performing in a more traditional play. This relative freedom from long-term rehearsal schedules makes it accessible to a wider range of students and encourages a diverse selection of resulting productions. Cooke also believes that the rapid process of creation makes for a more valuable end product.

“… In the case of the [performance] I was in last semester, it was a very emotional play, and the fact that we could put it together so quickly, but still come up with something that meant a lot to us as actors and people who saw it in the audience, as well, was a really awesome experience,” Cooke said.

This semester’s program organizer, Sophiyaa Nayar ’17, anticipates an exciting program, slated to include a number of Grinnell alumni returning to campus to participate in the playwriting portion of the program. Nayar sees the project as a unique chance for a wide range of talents to collaborate in a performance. She also sees potential for the program to act as a springboard for students who might want to begin their acting or directing careers and are ready for a unique challenge.

“When you come at seven in the morning you have no idea what kind of character you’re going to get, whether you’re going to be crying or laughing, whether you’re going to be a mom or a daughter,” Nayar said. “You could be anything, that’s part of the challenge.”

Although Nayar values the final productions as unique and rewarding experiences for the audiences that see them, for her the most important elements of the project take place backstage, long before the shows begin.

“I think theatre in general brings people together and there’s obviously a community aspect to it,” Nayar said. “When you’re stuck in a room together for 24 hours, maybe you’ll strangle each other, maybe you’ll get angry … but that’s one day that you’ll spend together, and [when you] actually get up there … it’s a thrill.”

The plays created in the 24 Hour Theatre Project will be performed this Saturday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *