Southern Utah University’s student-run theatre company, Second Studio, hosted their semesterly 24-Hour Theatre event on Saturday, January 21.
The event started officially on Friday, Jan. 20, when Second Studio Showcase Directors Jett Larson and Nash Kenning-Ballesteros gave writers prompts that coincided with the theme “mythical mashup.” Writers had until 6 a.m. Saturday to submit their plays for actors and directors to work on.
“These groups of actors and directors and writers all connect so much with each other,” said Larson. “They’re putting their heart into this in such a short amount of time.”
The show took place at 7 p.m. that night, where an audience gathered to watch an hour’s worth of original theatrical content that didn’t exist just 24 hours before.
“My favorite part is when it’s like 8 a.m., and we’re all dying and exhausted,” said Mari Nielsen, who directed one of the shows. “We’re all sitting there, and we’re all just so excited.”
Actors who participate don’t know until the morning of the show what their scene is. They are also tasked with memorizing the scene and providing costumes and props to use in the show.
“Maybe I’ve just gotten really lucky with easy-to-memorize scenes the last two semesters,” said Ellie Swapp, “but it’s very fun, and as Jett would say, theatre is all about throwing something on the wall and praying it sticks.”
This semester, groups had the extra challenge of having a random prop added to their scene during the rehearsal process. If the prop didn’t fit with the writing and blocking of the scene, the director had to find a way to make it work.
“This time, there also wasn’t a required line to include in each scene, but rather a prop and a theme for them to take inspiration from,” said Kenning-Ballesteros.
24-Hour Theatre happens at the beginning of every semester, and any SUU student can participate, regardless of if they are in the theatre program or not.
“You don’t have to know how to act or how to write because this is a judgment free zone,” said Larson. “It’s just a place to really exercise those muscles that you’ve been wanting to but you feel like you’ve never been able to.”
Story by: Tessa Cheshire
Photos courtesy of Second Studio