The Northampton 24 Hour Theater Project

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Saturday, November 3: Performances at 7 pm and 9 pm

Advance sales have ended. Any remaining seats will be sold for cash at the door, $20 general/$15 students. Box office opens at 5:30 pm.

Let the countdown begin to the 24 Hour Theater Project, a dramatic race against time to bring five short plays to life. The Center for the Arts is proud to revive its role as host for this beloved and highly anticipated event founded in 2002 by playwright Tanyss Rhea Martula.

While the premise is simple, the execution is anything but: within 24 hours, five ten-minute plays will be written, rehearsed, directed, produced, and staged. The culmination of this day-long burst of creativity are two public performances, often standing-room-only, showcasing local writers, actors, and directors.

The time-limited and adrenaline-filled process begins on Friday evening, when five playwrights meet to draw cards with unnamed actors’ descriptions out of a hat. Once they have their cast information, the playwrights have 12 hours to create a ten-minute play. In the morning, they hand off their scripts to five directors who then read the script for the first time, gather their actors, and spend the next 10 hours rehearsing, while others father props, costumes, and set pieces.

While there are many returning favorites among the writers, directors, and actors, there are also some fresh voices for this year’s event. Veteran 24 Hour Theater Project playwrights Phil O’Donoghue and Tomàs Roche will be joined by Melissa Dimetres, Betel Arnold, whose play TIGHT PANTS delighted audiences at West Springfield’s Majestic Theater this summer, and Siobhan McManamon, who recently kicked off this season of the Smith College New Playreading series with her play BEAR HUG.

The 24 Hour Theater Project directors feature Susanna Apgar, John Bechtold, Toby Bercovici, Jeannine Haas, and Ellen Morbyrne. This year’s actors include Lisa  Abend, Nick Baker, Jane Barish, Kyle Boatwright, Scott Braidman, Nichole Calero, Joe Cardozo, Michael Charland-Tait, Gabe Cifuentes, Bill Dwight, Emmet Flaim, Melle Lowenthal, Moe McElligot, Linda Putnam, Myka Plunkett, Sam Samuels, Linda Tardiff, and Rich Vaden.