At 7:00 p.m. on Friday, ten actors, three writers and a handful of supporting cast members gathered at the Ford Building to audition for Mines Little Theatre’s first twenty-four hour play festival. Twenty-four hours later, Mines Little Theatre performed the fruits of their labor, three one-act plays, in the Student Center ballrooms to an audience of several dozen people.
After nearly an hour of auditions the night before, scriptwriters Alex Dell, Konrad Klett and Rudy Ybarra casted the potential actors and began writing each of their plays. “Every ten minutes or so I get writer’s block,” Klett remarked at around 11:30 p.m. that night. “Then I drink some more coffee and start writing some more.” Dell agreed with Klett’s description of the scriptwriting process, adding that he was focusing on wiring now and editing later. “It’s rough, and still needs to be edited, but I’ve got another eight hours to do that,” he explained. Ybarra on the other hand preferred to edit while writing.
Every few hours, Mines little Theatre treasurer Amanda Bowers gave the three scriptwriters a prompt to add to their plays. The first prompt involved mentioning MLT’s upcoming plays, “Done to Death” and “The Mouse that Roared”, which will be performed in November. Other prompts included working a corny joke into the script and adding a reference to a cowbell somewhere within the play. Directors, who showed up at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, also got prompts, which varied between plays and included such things as a thumb war and use of a dollar bill as a prop. Klett and Dell both performed in acting and directing as well as writing capacities.
Actors arrived at the Ford Building at 7:00 a.m., then moved to the Student Center after “running lines” for a few hours. Twelve hours later, the audience arrived and each acting team put on their play. Plots were all comedic, and ranged from an unintelligent villain taking over a TV news station, directed by Mark Shivers, to a ninja-ridden ten-minute saga of adventure and treasure written by Konrad Klett. Each play ran ten roughly ten minutes.
Production value was rough, however the performance appeared to be arranged in ascending order of actor ability (or simply line memorization).
This left the audience with a finale that, despite its over-the-top nature and minimal prop set, was humorous enough to leave the audience with a good feeling at the end of the night.
Overall, Mines Little Theatre’s 24-hour Play Festival was a success, well worth the forty minutess of time the three-play performance took to watch. The next iteration of this concept is something to definitely look forward to for next year.