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From script to stage in 24 hours

Six+performers+portray+a+group+of+college+students+who+go+camping+together+in+the+play%2C+Too+Damn+Campy.+The+piece+was+written+by+Krystopher+Paschen+adn+Amanda+Ufer+and+directed+by+Melanie+Lech.
Olivia Lepard
Six performers portray a group of college students who go camping together in the play, “Too Damn Campy.” The piece was written by Krystopher Paschen adn Amanda Ufer and directed by Melanie Lech.

Playcrafters hosted their third annual 24-hour Arts Festival on Sept. 10-11. About 30 students participated in the event as actors, directors, dancers and writers.

There were two dances and five plays performed. Momentum choreographed and performed a dance piece at the event.

T.J. Lewis, a senior performing arts and theatre major, performed in the previous 24-hour festivals, but this year he said that he decided to produce it. He contacted directors, actors, technicians, choreographers and dancers and promoted the event through social media.

The event started at 1 p.m. on Sept. 10 with an interest meeting. After that interest meeting, Playwrights members were given from 2-8 p.m. to write and edit plays to be performed at the festival.

“Normally we don’t turn plays away, because we want everyone’s work to be produced,” Lewis said.

Auditions for actors and dancers were held from 8:45-10 p.m. Then, an hour was given for casting, followed by rehearsal time from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following day.

Freshman theatre arts major Rachel Buksbazen styles her hair backstage in preparation for her performance in the I.G. Greer Studio Theatre as a performer in the 24-hour Arts Festival presented by Playcrafters on Sunday, September 11. Buksbazen performed in the dance number "Out of Sight, Out of Mind," choreographed by junior dance studies major Phillip McRorie.
Freshman theatre arts major Rachel Buksbazen styles her hair backstage in preparation for her performance in the I.G. Greer Studio Theatre as a performer in the 24-hour Arts Festival presented by Playcrafters on Sunday, September 11. Buksbazen performed in the dance number “Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” choreographed by junior dance studies major Phillip McRorie.

Participants were then given a break from 5-9 a.m. where they were allowed time to sleep, eat or take a break. Tech rehearsals followed from 9-1:30 a.m., and then the performance took place at 2 p.m.

Lewis said that one of the main motivations behind this event is to share the students artistic abilities with the student body.

“As an artist, particularly for me, what’s best about being an artist is to not only connect with my work, but have other people connect with my work so that they can feel different things and maybe be inspired to do things that they might have never thought to do before,” Lewis said.

Breanne Hollis, a junior theatre major, said the event gave her the opportunity to direct her first production. She directed a play called “Achoo,” about two demons trying to steal the souls of a couple whenever they sneeze, written by Maddy Bergstedt, a junior apparel design and merchandising major.

“It’s been a really cool chance to get into that scene and have a lot of creative freedom, and people are so easy to work with because they’re like ‘it’s fine, we only have 24 hours so let’s do the best we can’ so everyone’s really diligent and ready to work,” Hollis said.

Morgan White, a junior student majoring in theatre arts, said that she had never been a part of any event like this before. She said that it was a good experience to prepare her for the future if she ever wanted to get involved with touring theater.

White was one of the actresses in the skit called “Too Damn Campy” that was written by Krys Paschen, a junior theatre arts major and Amanda Ufer, a senior theatre arts major.

White said that as an actress, it all starts with the auditions. She said that you’d be given one line, and based on how you say that line in front of the directors, they’d cast you in their show. From there it was a night full of rehearsals and breaks, White said, until the show begins.

“In my group, one of the girls isn’t a theatre major, so she’s never done theater before and I think it was a great experience for her,” White said. “There wasn’t a lot of pressure, you can just see if it’s something you would enjoy to do outside of just fun for a career or a major of maybe just a hobby.”

Though it was a long night, White said it was a great experience for everyone.

Story by: Molly Flinchum, A&E Reporter

Photo by: Olivia Lepard

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