The Life Stories 24 Hour Plays!
Life Stories kicked off its summer program with The 24 Hour Plays at the
Studio Theater. 20 students, six directors, four writers and educational professionals met up on July
10th at the Studio Theater at Theater Row and prepared for the madness that
would be the following two days of creation and rehearsal. First order of
business was Orientation: a prop and costume piece was presented by all the
participants, as well as their secret talents and onstage desires. After the
eclectic props, (including a gas mask, boxing gloves, chinchilla fur coat
and Uno cards) were set aside and talents revealed, the actors were split
into their casts. The playwrights (all Life Stories alum) worked with their
casts to develop characters and story lines, informed by what was shared
The writers worked separately in the New Group office for the rest of the
day on their scripts while the actors received a Technical Theater Workshop
taught by 24 Hour Plays Technical Director, Philip Naude. After the class
was over, the actors left to rest up for the day ahead while the writers
honed their scripts to 24 Hour Plays perfection (the last one out by 9pm).
On the morning of the 11th, the actors received their scripts:
Pop Some Pills, by Audasia Glenn, featured a cast of mental patients waiting
for a therapy session while revealing the reasons they are in the psych
ward, ranging from alien abduction paranoia to random fainting spells.
“We Don’t Have to Talk About That.” by Elizabeth Cruz-Cortez had the brother
and friends of demanding, leg-broken girl attempt to figure out whether she
was actually injured or not. Her demands ranged from, “Thomas, soda. NOW”,
“Feed me popcorn!” and “Fan me now!”
The Five of Us by Manny Minaya chronicles the money troubles of five
roommates attempting to decide who was short on rent. Accusations fly as the
money spent is tallied up from gas masks, dresses and feline funerals.
The Alexandrite Diamond by Maynor Alas situated an oil tycoon with stakes in
Russia courting a mysterious Russian woman, only to be thwarted by upcoming
rap star “Ty-K47” and former child star “Lindsay Spears” and their wild
Guest Directors: Hilarie Burton, Sarah Bisman, Tina Fallon (24 Hour Company
founder), Diane Neal, Helene Taylor and Lucas Steele all donated their time
and talents to work with students to rehearse and stage their plays
The mad rush from studio to theater, from rehearsal to tech and from
memorization to performance kept everyone on their toes until the 7pm
curtain, where all four plays were flawlessly performed and applauded.
Shout out to Clevins Browne who delivered poetry interludes commenting on
each of the plays that he conceived hours before curtain.
Special Thanks to our sponsor Montblanc for making this program possible!