For the past three years, I have been involved in The 24 Hour Theater Project. This event is presented by Tau Alpha Pi, (or TAP for short), which is the Theatre Honorary here on campus at Grove City College. I have been a constant participant of the event every year that we have presented it. My sophomore year, I acted and directed, last year I coordinated the entire event, and this year I am writing!
So what is it really like to participate? Well, it is very busy, that is for sure. Whether it is the writers trying to crank out a script in one night or the actors trying to remember their blocking during the performance, there is a consistent thrill throughout the entire event. It may seem daunting, but for us theater-fanatics, that thrill makes the whole event very special.
Acting. The actors arrive Friday night without any preparation at all. They are asked to audition with just a short, improvised game. Then they leave the event until Saturday morning. At 7 a.m., they return to the theater and begin to memorize their script (which, in all honesty, takes the entire day). Then they learn the blocking based on the direction of their student director. At 7 p.m., ready or not, the actors take to the stage to perform their one act!
Directing. The directors are sort of the middle man in this event. First, they are paired with a group of writers and cast their show Friday at 7 p.m. Then, if the writers choose to do so, they can allow the directors to stay up with them throughout the night as the script is being written, or they can just go to back to their dorm. They must come back to the theater at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning to direct their one act. Directing it involves blocking movement, creating the set, and talking to the coordinators about transitions, music, and other things.
Writing. The writers help cast the show at the beginning of the night, and then, well, they write. They create a six- to 10-minute script about whatever creative idea is sparked in their minds. In case they get a mental block, there is support from the coordinators and one of the TAP advisors. Once they get their scripts completed, whether it is at 1 a.m. or 6 a.m., they are done for the rest of the event! Then they get to come back that night to see their script come to life!
You can watch this year’s show here!