Four requirements, five teams, 24 hours. These are the elements of the One Day Theater Project which took place last week in Hoffmann Hall. The One Day Theater Project is an opportunity for students to write, direct and perform in their own one-act play in 24 hours.
The participants arrived in St. Joseph Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Friday. The teams were given the rules and requirements of the project. The teams had certain requirements that needed to be incorporated into their one-act, such as a character, location, prop and line. Every group was given the same prop, a flintlock gun, but the other elements varied.
After these housekeeping items were taken care of, the groups dispersed throughout the Hoffmann classrooms to get to work. About halfway through the project they were handed another challenge. Each team was instructed to incorporate a dance number into their play.
At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, the teams showcased their finished products. The one-acts ranged from a murder in a clock tower to a séance in an old house. The audience got a little bit of everything, as the show contained drama, suspense and humor.
In addition to participating teams, there were also two students working behind the scenes to make sure this project was successful. Seniors Travis Exline and David Baird were present for the entire event to help answer questions for the teams.
“I think the one thing that stands out for me is the fact that you don’t have to have any theatre experience to enjoy it,” Baird said.
One person in particular who enjoyed her experience was senior Tianna Sunderland. Sunderland is a four-time participant of this theater project.
“This year was different because I got to experience it with a team who has never done it before. It was exciting to hear all their creative ideas and to bring it all together at the end of the 24 hours,” she said.
In addition to being a participant, Sunderland played a large role in organizing this event as she is the President of the Guild of St. Genesius.
After each of the teams performed their one-act, a panel of judges deliberated to determine winners in a variety of categories. A prize was awarded to the group that best utilized each of the five requirements in their show. There was also a judges’ choice award for their favorite one act overall and an audience choice award.
Sunderland has some encouraging words for anyone who is considering joining any future productions
“Just go out and have some fun. Try whatever comes to mind first, Who knows, it may be just what the character needs!”