24-Hour Plays Return to Southwestern

The Southwestern College Theatre Department 24-Hour Plays will be a major cooperative project this year with Cowley College.  Joined by area high school teachers and students, and alumni Campus Player and Horsefeathers and Applesauce (H&A) actors, they will create and complete a full evening of theatre with six 10-minute plays to be presented Saturday, Sept. 10, in the Richardson Performing Arts Center on the campus of Southwestern College.  The event is licensed by 24 Hour Plays, a New York organization which gives structures, guidelines, timelines, and suggestions to work out all the details.

This is SC’s fifth year to create 24-Hour Plays. 

“The popularity of 24-Hour Plays is enormous,” explains Roger Moon, SC theatre professor and playwright, “and we are delighted to cooperate on this project with Cowley College and their new faculty, Cara Kem and John Rohr.  This experience creates an intense creative community among its participants, and this will be a great project to begin our work together.”

“Winfield and Southwestern students experience the exuberant creativity that happens when five dozen playwrights, directors, stage managers, technicians and actors converge to ‘play’ at this intense level,” says Moon.  “It’s a joy to experience as a creator or as an audience.  There is nothing as electric as the community of theatre.”   

Starting at 9:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 9, playwrights, actors, directors, assistant directors, and technicians will begin.   Working in shifts so everyone gets a chance to sleep, the playwrights, directors, actors and technicians will work in shifts all night and day to write and create the collection of 10-minute plays which will perform Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and finish by 9 p.m., allowing the actors the time to strike the sets and costumes, clean the theatre, and be done in 24 hours. 

To begin, participants introduce themselves and inspire the plays as each brings a costume piece and a prop and tells about their talents.

 Pictures are taken of each actor, and by 11 p.m., the playwrights will choose actors for their plays and begin writing while the rest of the company goes to sleep in their dorms or homes across the town.   

SC and H & A alumni, along with faculty and students from area community colleges and high schools, may be housed in the homes of SC theatre patrons who may come see the introductions, take them to a bed for the night, and then bring or them back to the college by 8 a.m., Saturday to begin their 12 hours of rehearsal and tech work for the new plays. Saturday evening theatre patrons are invited back to have a special experience with their “adopted” participant during the evening.  

The Campus Player and H & A alumni return to SC not only because of their relationship to SC and theatre, but also to experience with the whole Winfield community.  

“As we invite prospective students to join us for the 24-Hour Plays,” explains Moon, “we want them to know that they will be valued in this community, so we try to house them for the night in community homes and start the wonderful and supportive relationship that they will have when they come as a student to SC.”  

Community members who would like house a student are asked to contact Kristin Porter, faculty assistant for performing arts, at (620) 229-6272.


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