One-acts performed in 24 hours

By Luverta Reames

Senior Tim Phillips can usually be found working in the C-Store while 24-Hour Theatre is taking place.

“This is probably why I ran out of 5-Hour Energy Shots,” he said, looking at the empty box on the counter. Though he signed up to be writer for this year’s event, Phillips had to work instead.

Each year, a student-led theater production is put together within a 24-hour period and goes right to performance at the end of the final hour.

Prior to this year’s performance, nine writers met at Denny’s to write six one-act plays. Twelve hours later, they turned the scripts over to actors and directors who then began memorizing and rehearsing the stories and lines.

The event was put on by the Green Room, ONU’s theater club, and overseen by senior Kristine Sokarda.

Sign-ups took place in Ludwig Dining Hall on Feb. 14 through Feb. 17 and preparation began the next evening at 7 p.m.

Sokarda didn’t give any specific directions to the directors besides that there had to be a maximum of three actors per play. The students were given the opportunity to expand their imaginations with acting, directing, writing, or sometimes, all three. 

Senior Brad Sytsma directed, wrote, and acted in a one-act entitled “And Twice on Sunday”.

“I had three ideas and I didn’t know which one to use, so I asked a couple of my friends and their opinions were split equally,” he said. “So I started on the first idea and when I got stuck, I continued to the next one, and the third idea worked.”

“Open Upon an Ending” written by freshman Heather Mead describes the difficulties that a therapist would endure with a patient who struggles with multiple personalities. Freshman Jenny Ward took several naps and each time she would either wake up as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, or herself.

“The Great Amalgamation of Nerdisms” was co-written by Kirstie King and Rebecca Moisio. Moisio served as director of this piece as well. The play followed an expendable crewman searching for the answer to the meaning of life and the universe.

“Magic 8 Ball: the Musical” featured two actors, Sokarda and freshman Cameron Carpenter. The two were introduced to a Magic 8 Ball and the fate of their relationship rested its voices, played by seniors Brad Systma and Zarah Miller.

“The Offbeat Relatives” directed by Sokarda, told the story of a girl named Erin, played by senior Jennifer Wilkerson.

Erin’s parents wouldn’t allow her to get a cell phone because they didn’t think she was mature enough. In response, she went to her aunt’s house to ask for a job. Her aunts, the odd pirates, agree to give her a job as they try to sell their believable experiences as pirates to a man by the name of Blackbart played by Michael Kirkpatrick.

The last show of the night, “The Waitress” written by Carpenter and directed by sophomore Kelsey Nelson, described the complexities of relationships and love.

Sokarda wanted everyone, whether audience member or cast member, to have a good time and come away with memorable experience.

“This is a very stressful process and it could be a make or break process,” she said. “Some people choose to never come back again.”  

Green Room has always tried to get more people involved, but this year brought around more participants.

“We had a ton more people in Green Room because of this and thought it was a ton of fun,” Sokarda said.

While many who participated were seasoned ONU theater students, this was Ward’s first time.

“I will definitely be back next year and the year after that,” she said jokingly in a Brooklyn accent.

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