LBCC and OSU Students Create and Perform an Original Play in Just 24 Hours

Actor Ken Brown and actress Hannah Foshay panic in a twist of events as their co actress Laurna Baxter plays a recently decreased general in the play "When Leaders Rise," written by Rachel Stahly and directed by Maia Barnebey.

The timer starts at 7:30 pm the night before production as LBCC students and OSU students come together to write, develop, and perform a play within the next 24 hours.

This year, Play in a Day was hosted at Linn-Benton in the Russell Tripp Theater on Saturday at 7:30 pm, just 24 hours after the students were assigned a random theme which each playwright must adhere to.

Fate decides which position a student will have to fill as they draw their role from a hat that will determine their responsibilities in the production of the play. Students were randomly assigned theater roles: 22 actors, seven playwrights, and seven student directors. Each student was stochastically assigned their role from a hat, as was the theme: “coming of age.” Then the selected playwright composed a ten-minute play which was to be turned in by 7:00 am. From there, the named director once again picks a random story out of a hat to bring to life with their, you guessed it, randomized group of actors and actresses.

With seven different plays written by seven different playwrights, the assigned director of the group sorts out roles to each of the chosen acting students. From there, they rehearse non-stop while rotating locations all over LBCC’s campus from the Forum, to the theater, to South Santiam Hall to experience different environments to work in. They then have 24 hours to memorize, decide the necessary props, develop their characters, and perfect the play to then later be performed in front of a live audience.

Dan Stone and Tinamarie Ivey, both performing arts faculty, have been conducting Play in a Day for fifteen years, switching off every other year between OSU and LBCC. “I would hope that students walk away understanding that they are masters of their own destiny,” Ivey says, “that they don’t have to wait around for someone to go produce a play, that they don’t have to hope that somebody casts them. Students interested in playwriting can write a play, directors can direct, and actors can act.” Ivey also hopes that through Play in a Day, students will develop a sense of collaboration. Though the ability of collaboration and communication, directors, play writes, and actors/actresses will be able to speak the language of each other and comprehend the message at hand.

Story by Mckenna Christmas

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