Greatest Sleepover Ever

The annual 24-hour play festival marked the first performance in the new theatre

Lily Furlong

The drama department kicked off the new space by holding their fifth annual 24-hour play festival. It took place over the weekend of March first and second. It was a milestone that presented new opportunities and challenges.

The event this year was coordinated by student thespian officers Nate Southcott (12) and Kenzie Knapp (12). The process began Friday night and ended Saturday night with a public performance of four brand-new short plays.

“24 is a tradition now,” Southcott said. “It was started by a group of students who were inspired by a theatre doing a similar event.”

The process begins with writing pairs showing up late Friday Night. They are randomly assigned partners, and work all night in the theatre creating four new short shows. In the morning the directors and technicians arrive and are assigned the show they’ll be working on. They then cast the show, and the actors arrive shortly after. They spend the day building up the show, all leading to a public performance that night.

“You can get involved with little commitment,” Southcott said. “It’s great for people who aren’t sure about drama but want to give it a try. They have a lot of fun.”

The event is very popular among theatre students but is also one of the biggest draws for new thespians, according to Southcott.

“It’s a welcoming opportunity for new students who are interested in theatre but need a place to get started,” Nich Vulic (12) said. “It’s nice to see returning and new people work together and produce art.”

The event draws in returners like Vulic, who has been participating in the event for four years, and newcomers like Brooklyn Harris (9).

“I was an actor, which was sort of stressful,” Harris said. “I hadn’t acted before. It was a great experience to have fun and meet people, and a really good introduction to acting.”

Every year presents twists and challenges so that each year is different. This year the event featured a major challenge: all four shows had to take place in the same location. The writing teams chose Vaughan- Williams’s Emporium of Antiquities. It also centered around the theme of Discovery.

“[My favorite part] is probably the twists. There’s something about watching it get revealed and being the first to know. Having the mystery starting point you get to springboard off of,” Vulic said. “It’s exciting and unique to 24.”

The space also presented its own challenges. The event was delayed a week because of the snow in Feb. It was also the first show in the new theatre. Because of this, limited knowledge of the new light and sound systems meant the directors had to work with limited technical elements.

“The obstacles were an opportunity in disguise,” Vulic said. “Having minimal set changes played a big part in the overall story. I think having a set for all was a very good decision. It forced us to collaborate more.”

The event often brings together people who never would have worked together before, showing how collaborative theatre is.

“Only two of us had speaking parts in my show,” Harris said. “Neither of us had really acted before.”

Due to the fast-paced nature of the event, it can also be challenging and occasionally stressful.

“My biggest challenge was mostly memorization,” Harris said. “But my favorite part was the feeling of after the performance. The feeling of ‘I did it’, and accomplishing something.”

24 has become a tradition in the department and one of the most anticipated events every year.

“On the side of the officers, we keep doing it because it’s popular among our regular theatre participants,” Southcott said. “You can really find out what you like and don’t like, and try things like acting, tech, or writing.”

The event will likely continue, and for some participants it’s been a huge positive experience.

“24 is, in my opinion, the future of theatre,” Vulic said. “Every person has a visible, tangible contribution to the show. Everyone depends on each other and gets involved. It was a really fun event to kick off the new space.”