ONE OF Savannah’s most unique performing arts events, the 24 Hour Play Festival, happens this weekend.
No, the plays aren’t a day long. The 24 hours is the amount of time each team of writers, directors, and actors have to put together from start to finish a ten-minute piece for your pleasure.
This is the fourth such event produced by Gabe Reynolds, known to local rock ‘n’ roll fans as “Kotter” on Rock 106.1 FM radio.
We had a chat with Gabe, who is busy getting everything together for another epic edition.1. So give us the quick elevator pitch: What is the 24-Hour Play Festival?
Gabe Reynolds: This is an event where creative people come together and put on six seat-of-their-pants shows. The writers are given a topic and they have until 6 am to write the piece. Then the directors come in and figure out which play they want to do.
It’s especially a great opportunity for people who’ve never directed, never written, or even never acted before. It’s really neat watching the whole experience of people who have never done these things before really throwing themselves into it.2. Is all this as stressful as it sounds?
Gabe Reynolds: It's more stressful leading up to the event, honestly. Making sure everybody's in place. The day of the event it's not that bad— it's more exciting than stressful.
I like it because there are so many creative people in Savannah and this is a great chance for so many different people to come together and do something a little bit different. Step out of their comfort zone.
Like most things in the theatre world, it never looks like it’s going to come together in time, but everyone always finds a way to make it happen.
It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in theatre.3. How are the plays cast?
Gabe Reynolds: Casting the plays is basically part of the same process. There's a meet-and-greet time for the directors to talk to the actors.4. Do the actors really have enough time to memorize lines?
Gabe Reynolds: There are shows where we'll probably wing it a little bit. The writers are given some guidelines. For example, monologues are usually a no-no.
We do want to keep it simple. Nine times out of ten everybody’s got their lines figured out. Then from 8 in morning until 7 at night there’s constant practice.5. Safe to say these are mostly comedies?
Gabe Reynolds: It's about 50/50 actually. We've had some really funny comedies and also had some deeper subjects.
24-Hour Play Festival
When: Plays are performed Saturday Sept. 19 at 8 p.m.
Where: Muse Arts Warehouse, 703 Louisville Rd.