Over this past weekend, Loras College’s Guild of St. Genesius presented its annual 24-Hour Theatre Project. As tradition, this performance is the theatre troupe’s service project to benefit the local food pantry, and the monetary and food donations totaled $199.73, the highest amount raised by the event. The project also made theatrical history by appearing in an article in “The Telegraph Herald” for the first time. This year’s performance also had the first all-alumni team.
For those unfamiliar with the process of the 24-Hour Theatre Project, all the teams face a series of obstacles while creating their one act plays. First, each team was assigned a prop, setting, and character to build their shows around. Later in the night, each team is given instructions to pull any headline they wanted from last week’s issue of “The Lorian” and work it into the play. Then, the teams had all night to work (or sleep) before being given a second line to incorporate into the show. Throughout the process, teams had access to set pieces, the prop shop, and the highly coveted costume closet. With these resources, the teams plunged headfirst into their creative genius.
“I’ve done the 24 hour theatre project for three years now, and every year I’m blown away by the creativity of my peers,” junior Benjy Miller said. “It’s not easy to write, memorize, and put on your own one act in a short amount of time.”
Although the project is very structured, each team made sure to not take themselves too seriously. Sophomore Broderick Hooker, a member of the team “Mouse Rat,” explained his team’s method to maintaining sanity through the sleepless night.
“Our team was assigned a plastic chicken as a prop,” Hooker said. “We decided to run laps around the building every hour while holding the chicken above our heads so we wouldn’t succumb to brain cramps. We called these, ‘chicken runs.’”
Other teams found comic relief through periodic John Mulaney videos on YouTube and going to sleep at an early hour. And it was apparent to the audience.
“Each group had excellent comedy,” senior Christian Stillings said after watching the performance. “It was delivered very well.”
On the night of the performances, the five groups presented very impressive and unique shows. The first comedy dealt with the paranormal activity of a tattoo shop that specializes in tattooing the dead. Following that performance, the alumni team presented a broadcast of a political debate in a not-so-apocalyptic fallout shelter.
Next, the audience watched a pressing story of a family in mourning who learned about life, love, and themselves. Another group presented a play about a treacherous experience on a fishing trip with two stowaways. The last performance depicted a man with six months to live who gets trapped in a cave with a caveman and a football.
At the end of the night, each team managed to take home awards for various aspects of their plays, including Judge’s Choice, Best Prop, and Best Character.
The Guild of St. Genesius would like to extend its gratitude to the returning alumni for participating this year; Big Apple Bagels for providing the participants with breakfast; the judges Lonore Howard, Kyle Klapatauskas, and Dean Art Sunleaf for giving up their time to judge and provide feedback for the teams; and Loras College for allowing this event to return year after year.