Twenty Four Hours to Get Creative: A look into Eastern’s Twenty-Four Hour Play Project.

Eastern University’s theatre department has many avenues for involvement from classes to full production shows, but perhaps one of the most exciting events they do is the annual 24 Hour Play Project.  The idea for this project came about 11 years ago, in 2009, when Liz Carlson, an alumn, brought the concept to Eastern. Ever since then, it’s been run by alumni each year. This year, the group of producers consists of Stephen Gordon, Carly Nuneviller and Jackie Parzanese. It will be their first time running the program. According to Nuneviller, this event involves students from different backgrounds coming together to “build brand new works from the ground up and engage in a collaborative experience often only accessible at the graduate level.”  The entire purpose of the project is to write, direct, produce and perform–generally six–new plays in the space of twenty-four hours.

The night begins with a potluck dinner to bring all of the members of the project together. From here, each room will be assigned two actors, one director, and one writer. These groups then go from nothing to a full performance the next evening. Throughout the period, the producers will be working as point people for the various participants. Nuneviller will act as a point person for each of the directors, helping them to fully articulate their vision and come up with ideas for carrying that vision out. Parzanese will be the point person for the actors, helping them to warm up, figuring out what choices to make for the characters and even giving suggestions if need be. Lastly, Gordon will act as a point person for the writers in each room, helping them understand plot, getting their creative juices flowing and conquering writer’s block, should the need arise. After the plays are written and rehearsed, there will be a free performance of all of the productions at 8 p.m. on Feb. 1. Students are encouraged to attend.

When asked what this new group of producers will bring to the project, Nuneviller said the idea was “to preserve tradition while offering a new season of growth.” She encourages anyone who has a story to tell to participate: “Everyone should be able to tell a story in front of an audience at least once.” Parzanese added. “Do the thing. Even if it’s scary.”

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