Pictured above: Allie Petrovich, theatre senior, performs a scene on stage. (File Photo)
By JC Fuentes
The 24-hour play festival is an annual event the theater department host during the fall held by co-coordinators Allyson Moon, director of Southwestern theatre program, and Paula Marka. The event is held at Southwestern College on Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
There will be student visitors from Southwestern College, as well as other campuses such as Cowley College and Wellington High School.
These students are all actors, screenwriters, directors, and technicians who come together for a day and get to practice their talents with others who share the same interests. On Friday evening, screenwriters meet with every actor, and then decide who they want to play who in their productions.
“One of the most extraordinary intensely creative theatrical experience anyone can experience,” Moon describes.
Afterwards the screenwriters stay up all night to write ten minute plays which will be rehearsed and produced during the following day. Friday morning the directors sit down and decide which plays they want to do. As soon as the plays are chosen, everyone has until 7:30 p.m. to perfect the play as best they can and perform them to the public.
Paula Markar helps run the event with Moon and helps contact participants and gets them registered. She also assembles all the writers, directors, and has the actors do some improve to help them get ready.
“This is my first year here at Southwestern College,” said Markar, “So to me, it is a great opportunity to get to know all the students interested in theater, as well as students around the area.”
“It is an exciting experience,” Willow Branch, theatre arts senior, is in her second year participating, continued. “Everything from the time spent on perfecting these short plays and meeting new people, college students and even high school students. It gives everyone a small opportunity to do things they have never done before such as acting, directing, playwriting, and even working in the technical areas.”
Allie Petrovich, psychology senior, said this is her fourth year participating, and first year directing.
“It is extremely challenging, but beneficial,” said Petrovich. “It is exciting being able to watch everyone acting and getting to see all the hard work that friends and other students have done in such a short amount of time.”
Petrovich is also a member of the improv group called “9 lives” so she has experience in theater.
“During improv anything can happen. You have more freedom,” Petrovich explained. “In the festival, you have to give them exactly what they are asking of you. It is more challenging because of how strict the structure of everything is.”
In Petrovich’s last year participating in this event, she said “This is my last play festival, and it is sad, because I won’t be a part of this collaborative event anymore,” Petrovich continued. “But I am also excited, because as an experienced person I can take this opportunity to help the people who will still be here and help them not be nervous and give it all they got, so in turn they can mentor other people.”
JC Fuentes is a sophomore majoring in communication. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.