One Day Theater Project

At 7 p.m. on Oct. 7, we gathered in St. Joseph’s Auditorium to begin a one-day journey to create a one-act play. Teams had been selected, and I was lucky to be on a team with two of my best friends, Adrienne Pearson and Brody Hooker. The night began with several warm up games under the instruction of senior Travis Exline and director of theater Doug Donald. Next, we were given a character, location, line and prop to incorporate into our one-act productions.

Throughout the night and into the wee hours of morning, Brody, Adrienne and I wrote and rewrote our show to near-perfection. We took breaks from writing to search for extra props (the one we had to use was a flintlock gun), try on different costumes, build our unique set, and brainstorm different blocking. However, that morning, after having our one-act practically completed, we were given the surprise task of incorporating a short dance into our shows.

For some groups, this was easy. For Adrienne, Brody and I, as well as a couple other teams, this involved rewriting massive chunks of our plays.

“Our show was particularly altered after being given the task of incorporating a dance. It was originally much more somber in tone. We had to change the genre completely,” Adrienne explained. Our group literally added a song and dance number as a transition back into a funeral scene.

During the day on Saturday, each team got the opportunity to block and rehearse their shows onstage with sound and lighting effects, directed by senior David Baird. The rest of the day was filled with teams running and memorizing lines (and songs in our case), making sure costumes stayed in place during dance numbers, gathering all the additional props, and mentally preparing to perform. When the time to begin arrived and the shows began, I could feel the excitement and anticipation from everyone performing. I definitely was more nervous than I thought I would be. Then, each team performed their show. We were all immensely proud of our hard work.

Each team looked like they felt at home on stage. I really had a great time, and when we were performing it was hard to believe that everything we did had been written, rehearsed, and performed within one day and with very little sleep (for most of us it was about four hours).

“All of the plays were super creative. I have to commend them on it since they were all probably exhausted. I was really impressed with them being able to give it their all,” said sophomore Elizabeth Tigges, who watched the show.

Every year it’s a different experience, and the last three years have been so fun. I am not an actress by any means; my preferred place is in the pit orchestra. But the One Day Theater Project is different than any other theater experience. It’s all the fun of theater packed into one day, and it’s not about being perfect –  it’s about having fun. So no matter how many times someone participates in the One Day Theater Project, it’s always a new adventure.

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