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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

24 Hour Show & “Sit-communism”

<st Carleton theatre productions have months between their first rehearsal and opening night, and, most of the time, they do not have to write their own script. The 24 hour show, performed last Saturday night, was a rare exception as it was written, directed, and produced in only one day.

“It’s technically 25 hours if we are being real about it,” said one of the producers of the show, Mairead Koehler ’17. Put on stage at 8 p.m. on Saturday, the writers begin 25 hours earlier at 7 p.m. on Friday. During this long day, the show’s process can be roughly broken up into two parts.

The first part is the overnight shift in which the scripts are imagined and written. The night before the performance, writers meet with their team for the first time. Only an hour and half later, they need a storyline to give the producers. By midnight, the producers review the official first drafts.

Once the writers’ shift ends, and there is a short break for the producers to sleep, the actors arrive early on Saturday morning to meet their cast mates, see their script, and begin a long day of working.

The show was broken into smaller sketches so each group of approximately five actors and one director could focus on one piece with its own storyline and characters. Interestingly, despite not having a consistent narrative or coordination among writers, some of the plays ended up with some common themes.

This was a complete coincidence according to Koehler: “Don’t know why every show included like Russians or a TV show of some kind or a ship. That came out of nowhere.”

John Cronin ’18, who played Josef Stalin during the opening sketch of the show, even joked after being asked about the show’s overarching communist ties, “that was the gist. It was sit-communism.”

This year some writers drew their inspiration from the requirement of an odd prop in their show. Everything from a fly swatter to a plastic lobster can be found in the Carleton prop shop and when producers discovered the ridiculous items, a new challenge was given to the writers to include these objects in some way.

While the writers and actors never got to discuss the scripts with each other and separate groups had little interaction, the entire show was a huge collaboration process both within the groups and with the larger crew.

“I had a great experience. I got along with everybody in my group really well,” said actress Alexandra Pozniak ’18. Enjoying your group was critical as the actors and directors spent approximately thirteen hours running to Weitz for costumes and props, Nourse for tech, and any open lounge to memorize their script together.

“Everybody put out an idea and had it shut down. Everybody put out an idea and had it scooped up,” added Pozniak.

Pozniak described the day as a series of three distinct phases of nervousness, panic, and then happiness. “During the day there was just a lot of fear and panic because, I’ve never done a show in 24 hours but during the show and afterwards, it was just so much fun.”

During the panic phase of the day each group got a 45-minute tech rehearsal for their play. This was the only time groups could rehearse with lights, sound and on the stage itself. “At tech rehearsal we were pretty terrified because nothing was going right,” said Pozniak.

After 25 hours of memorizing lines, finding the perfect sound cues and trying on costumes, the actors performed for an overflowing Little Nourse. “My favorite part was when the sketch went over well with people. I can’t believe we pulled that off,” said Cronin.

While there were many frustrating or stressful moments, the show’s participants had some fun memories as well. The combination of fun and frustrating was what made this show so unique. “It definitely is going to be fun and exhausting and frustrating. That is the nature of the 24 hour show,” said Koehler.


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