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WSU Students to Create and Perform Six Plays in 24 Hours

Six student writers will gather at 8 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9, each charged with writing a 10-minute play in the next 12 hours. After writing feverishly into the wee hours of Dec. 10, at 8 a.m., the writers will hand over their work to six student directors and a multitude of actors who will stage and prepare the plays for an 8 p.m. performance.

Six plays written and performed in 24 hours – that’s the basis of the 24-Hour Play Festival created and organized by the Ghost Light Players theatre club at Worcester State University. The final performance will take place Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. in Fuller Theater in the Shaugnessy Administration Building on the WSU campus. Admittance is free.

“Because it’s all compressed into 24 hours, there’s an urgency and intensity to the production,” said Robert Dookhran, WSU Visual and Performing Arts major and president of the Ghost Light Players. “It’s rewarding that in such a short time we put together six shows.”

Leading up to the gathering of writers, the Ghost Light Players start the search for student writers in the Visual and Performing Arts, Communication and English departments. Students must apply by Monday, Dec. 2 to gain a coveted spot as a writer. The Ghost Light Players executive board then selects the writers.


“Although the writers each write their own play, they gather together to write as the collaboration and throwing around of ideas helps them in the creative process,” said Dookhran.

The directors sign up for the role in advance. The first six people to sign up, who have experience working with Worcester State Theatre as a director, actor, or technician, land the job as director.

The festival offers an open call to actors with the directors choosing the performers at 8 a.m. on Dec. 10. The choices depend on gender roles and the number of characters in each play. “It may even be that one actor plays two roles,” said Dookhran. “Some actors memorize five pages of lines in just a few hours.”

To prepare the play for performance, each group has one hour of stage time and a half hour of technical time. In 12 hours, each group stages the play, memorizes the lines and remembers the cues.

“For me, the experience pulls together everything I’ve learned in my theatre classes,” said Dookhran. “It’s staging, stage combat, movement, vocal tone and technical prowess. The whole experience is pretty intense.”

About the Worcester State University Visual and Performing Arts Department:

The Worcester State University Visual and Performing Arts Department offers an interdisciplinary, student-centered, artistic education that prepares students for professional lives in the arts. Its educational spaces encompass the Fuller Theater, practice rooms for music, and art studios at the Worcester Center for Crafts. VPA students gain in-depth knowledge of their preferred art form—art, music, or theatre—plus an understanding of what the arts have in common, and how they are performed and exhibited in the real world. Learn more at www.worcester.edu/VPAdept

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