Calling all creatives: Take the 24-hour theater challenge

Jan 11, 2024

If you’ve ever thought about dipping your toes into the dramatic waters of theater, the Newman University 24-hour Theater Project may be the perfect opportunity to do so.

Also known as “A Play in a Day,” the 24-hour Theater Project challenges teams to write, direct, rehearse and perform a play from start to finish within 24 hours. This year’s project starts 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, and performances begin 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20.

There are several jobs to choose from: actor, playwright, director, stage manager, props, costumes, promotion/ graphic design, lights, sound and other support. All who are interested in being a part of the excitement must complete the electronic form.

Participants aren’t limited to Newman University students, alumni, faculty or staff, either — the 24-hour Theater Project is open to anyone in the community to participate.

How it works

Teams will be chosen at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, in the Jabara Flexible Theatre in De Mattias Fine Arts Center at Newman. Writers begin writing new plays at 8 p.m. and have until 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, to complete their work. At this time, directors and actors will arrive to start memorizing scripts, blocking and rehearsing. 

Performances for the 24-hour Theater Project begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, in the Jabara Flexible Theatre. Guest admission is $3 per person at the door.

Participants perform their plays in the Jabara Black Box Theater.
Participants perform their plays in the Jabara Flexible Theatre.

A personal experience

Alumnus Cole Schnieders ‘21 participated in two 24-hour Theater Projects during his time at Newman. One of the most exciting aspects of the challenge, he said, is that “you have such limited time.”

“You would think that having 12 hours would be a restraint, but it is actually very freeing,” Schnieders said in an interview last April. “There is no wrong answer. In this 12-hour period, I just have to write, and write freely. Then you push it out into the world as your creative, team-produced process.”

If you’re interested in being a part of the exhilarating creative process, submit your form and plan to meet at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14 in the Jabara Flexible Theatre. The stage awaits!

Questions? Contact Newman Director of Theater Mark Mannette at [email protected].