At 7:30 p.m. Friday, six teams of writers will begin to write their own play. At 7:30 p.m. Saturday night, these plays will be performed to an audience in Whitley Auditorium.
Presented by Elon University’s chapter of Alpha Psi Omega (APO), the national theater honors society, 24 Hour Plays gives six different teams of writers, directors and actors exactly 24 hours to create a play.
According to senior Doug Del Pizzo, the president of APO, all members will come in at 7:30 p.m. for a meeting. At 8:30 p.m. the writing teams will be given a genre, ranging from mockumentary to action-adventure, and a cast size to write for.
They have until 6 a.m. to finish the script.
“It's funny because a lot of them have forts built at the end of the night,” Del Pizzo said. “They bring pillows and blankets and coffee — someone brought a coffee maker last year overnight and I’m like, 'You’re smart. Also, can I have some?'”
At 6:45 a.m. the next day, the directors come in to review the script and pick their cast. By 7:45 a.m., the actors arrive to rehearse until 3 p.m., when technical rehearsals begin. At 6 p.m., the shows break for lunch, and at 7:30 p.m., it’s go time.
The 24 Hour Plays has grown in the past few years. This is the second year they are licensed by the 24 Hour Company and can send two people to New York City to do it nationally.
It has become so popular, the show has moved from Yeager Recital Hall to Whitley, so it can hold 250 people rather than 50.
According to Del Pizzo, the show also attracts freshmen and non-theater majors, allowing more people to become involved through a Google form sign-up sheet that is first-come, first-served.
“It gives everyone who has an interest in it to experience it,” Del Pizzo said. “You don’t have to have experience. It’s supposed to be fun and playful and a growing experience.”
Tickets are $3 to cover the costs of security and the venue. Though he knows it will be hectic, Del Pizzo is ready to watch the shows come together.
“When the actors come back to see what they are and you release them all into their separate rooms it’s like, ‘OK. Go,’” he said. “You know that, within those six locations, there’s so much that is happening and so much art is being created that it’s just the coolest thing — this all happens within a 24 hour time period.”