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Playwrights Get Creative at Skin Horse Theater's 24 Hour Play Festival



This Saturday at 8 pm, seven playwrights, seven directors and anywhere from 30 to 40 actors bring seven plays to life in 24 hours for Skin Horse Theater’s second annual 24-hour play festival at the Allways Lounge.   

 

Everyone from Hawthorne to Hemingway would agree that writing is rewriting, but then they haven’t seen Skin Horse Theater’s 24-hour play festival. 

 

“The normal rehearsal process is fun, but it’s very labored,” said Anna Henschel, founder of Skin Horse Theater.  The 24-hour time constraint “removes the chance to edit.  Whatever your first idea is is probably what you’re going to go with.”  This means going with your gut, even if your gut is wrong. “The principles are no bad ideas.” 

 

Before playwrights put pen to paper, all parties involved vote on a theme.  Themes run the gamut from serious to silly to surreal.  “They get pretty funny,” said Henschel.  Last year, each play revolved around the theme “Fanciful Vengeance,” but “It’s Just Brunch” was a close runner-up.

 

“[Friday night] the playwrights are told to write a ten minute, seven or eight page play by seven in the morning.  [Then] directors draw plays out of a hat,” said Henschel.

 

Directors only have an hour to talk to the playwrights (who have presumably been up all night furiously writing) before the actors come in.  Since all aspects of the play process are double blind, directors choose actors out of a hat, rather than on the basis of skill or character suitability.   

 

“You may get a play about four sisters and end up with three dudes which is more fun that way,” said Henschel.       

 

Along with its inherent comedic advantages, the time constraint takes away from the pressure of performing.  Armed with a raw script and only a few hours to practice, no one is expecting (or wanting) Shakespeare.  But despite the lack of polish, you might find some pearls in this oyster.     

 

“It allows people to do whatever they want and anyone can do it,” said Henschel. Because of the rush we don’t need classically trained people.  If anyone wants to be involved we’re always willing to use and abuse volunteers.”    

 

Aspiring thespians can participate by sending an email to: twentyfournola@gmail.com.  Because of costumes and props, the participation fee is  $5. 

 

Each performance is $7 at the door.   

 

  

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Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt


B. E. Mintz


Stephen Babcock

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