The process of creating a play is a complicated affair, sometimes requiring hundreds of people to write, direct or act in a single production. But what if a play could be written, staged, memorized and performed in the course of 24 hours?
This impossible mission became possible on Feb. 5 as 27 actors, directors, playwrights, producers and managers gathered at the Jammin’ Java to begin the second annual New Play Workshop.
According to ’06 alumnae and producer Liz Carlson, the New Play Workshop is meant to inspire true collaboration between individual members in the process of creating a play.
As the workshop’s program states, “These (plays) are not meant to be polished, completed pieces–rather they are each a triumph of the collaborative process, which is at times messy, vulgar and exhausting.”
Each of the six production teams included one playwright, one director and two actors and actresses. The groups worked together almost nonstop to have their plays ready to perform on Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. by writing, revising and practicing their lines until they were practically perfect.
Even though all of the groups had similar props and sets to work with, every play was “still absurdly different from each other,” Carlson said.
The subjects of the plays ranged from the troubles of two cupids who accidently break up The Beatles to an ancient romance of a Muse and King Solomon to the forming of a friendship between an actress and a “ladder thief.”
There was dancing; there was singing; there was even swimming. All of the actors and actresses, from first-years to seniors, did a great job despite having only a day to memorize–and act–their parts.
In short, the New Play Workshop created some truly innovative plays without any pre-preparation or adequate sleep, a feat that anyone should consider extraordinary.
If you missed seeing these brand new plays, don’t fret: Many of these pieces will be performed again at the Performance Arts Living Room on April 30 and May 1.