Graduate Theatre Organization's third annual 24-Hour Play Festival this Saturday

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 | 2:53 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Six playwrights, each given a prompt and fueled by cup after cup of coffee, will begin writing 10-minute plays.

They have 12 hours. When the time is up, the actors and directors will take over. After 12 hours of rehearsal, the curtain will go up.

The MU Graduate Theatre Organization will present the third annual 24-Hour Play Festival at 7:59 p.m. Saturday at Chamber Auditorium in the MU Student Center. The purpose is to “offer all members of the GTO a chance for creative work outside of the main stage, in writing and directing," Managing Director Matt Fotis said.

At 8 p.m. Friday, each of the six playwrights will be given a randomly selected line that should show up in some way in the play, Fotis said.

“The compressed time period is exciting. You don’t have time to sit around and brood. You just have to do it … and sometimes, that’s the best way to write,” Fotis said in a news release.

Once the playwrights finish their plays, the actors and directors must read the six scripts and memorize lines. At 7:59 p.m. on Saturday, they will put on the plays.

In the release, Fotis said the festival “is designed to be a highly accessible, collaborative experiment where the experienced and inexperienced join forces to unleash their raw creative power.”

It is also a chance for the theater organization to raise funds for its research and travel, Fotis said. The organization expects 100 people to attend the festival. Tickets are $5 each.

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