Talk about sleepless nights.
That's what eight playwrights are likely to have Oct. 27, when theygather at Palm Beach Dramaworks to write 10-minute plays that willbe performed for an audience the following evening.
The 24 Hour Theatre Project is in its seventh year. About 50playwrights, actors, directors and others volunteer their servicesfor the event, which raises money for The Naked Stage, a smalltheater company at Barry University in Miami Shores.
The event has been held at various theaters. Dramaworks, which ishosting the project for the first time, is providing the spacerent- free.
"I think this is the kind of event that we need to encourage in thecommunity: artists and organizations coming together," WilliamHayes, producing artistic director, said.
The task of churning out a play overnight can be nerve-wracking.
"It's a lot of fun for a couple of hours, then there's a period Ifind to be just dreadful," 24 Hour Theatre Project veteranChristopher Demos Brown said.
Demos Brown is one of the founders of Zoetic Stage, the residenttheater at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts inMiami, and the author of When the Sun Shone Brighter, winner of the2010 Carbonell Award for Best New Work.
Demos Brown, who also is a lawyer, admits he's not a night person.He usually takes a snooze in the middle of the marathon. Despitethe occasional moment of panic, he enjoys the experience.
"It's one of my favorite things in the South Florida theaterscene," he said.
Plays he's written for the project include one about parents whoget into trouble with their son's private school for packing apeanut butter sandwich in his lunch because the school has bannedallergy-provoking nuts.
The 24 Hour Theatre Project works like this. At 7 on the nightbefore the show, playwrights will draw the names of four performersand a director. They will choose a title from a list of humorousoptions. Past choices have included Shirley and the Temple of Doomand Rebel Without Applause.
Playwrights will meet with team members, then set to work. At 7a.m. Oct. 28, the actors and directors will arrive at the theaterto learn and rehearse the plays. The curtain will go up at 8 p.m.
"We had to beg people to do it the first year," said KatherineAmadeo, The Naked Stage's artistic director. "It turned out to bethis crazy, creative experience that stretches you."
Michael McKeever, another Zoetic Stage founder whose creditsinclude five Carbonell Awards for Best New Work, has participatedin every 24 Hour Theatre Project. In the beginning, he trieddeveloping a play from the title. That didn't work.
"You can't focus on what the script will be about until you get thecast," he said. "You can think you have the perfect poker game playwith four buddies and the next thing you know you've pulled a castof all women of a certain age." Once he knows who the cast is, hecan write to their strengths, he said.
McKeever's Craven Tutweiler (The Real Life Story of), conceivedduring a 24 Hour Theatre Project, has been mounted by ParadeProductions in Boca Raton and in several short play festivals.
There's always the possibility that this year's audience also willwitness the birth of a new short play with legs.
-- jsjostrom@ pbdailynews.com
IF YOU GO
The Naked Stage's 24 Hour Theatre Project 2013
Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach
8 p.m. Oct. 28
For more information
Call 514-4042, ext. 2 or visit tickets.palmbeach dramaworks.org
'IStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidStrokeStyle/$ID/Solidt's a lot of fun for acouple of hours, then there's a period I find to be just dreadful.'
christopher demos brown
Lawyer and playwright
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
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