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The College of Arts Sciences

Students work around the clock at Festival 24

By: Spencer DeRoos,  AS Communications
September 5, 2017

On Aug. 26, more than 45 participants — actors, dancers, directors, playwrights, stage managers, and technical crew — came together at the Schwarz Performing Arts Center to produce four plays and a dance in 24 hours during the annual Festival 24 event. The event, which originally involved only theater productions at its inception in 2008, took its current form in 2015 when it added film and dance.

The aim of the event, according to event coordinator Irving Torres-Lopez ‘18 is to “create a space where students can create, enjoy watching and enjoy creating performative and media art  The participants create art boldly and fearlessly, and this event solidifies the importance of this artwork on a campus that often overlooks it."

Playwrights stayed up all night, from 7:30 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. – to write a 10-12 minute stage play based on a one-word theme (this year it was focus) and a one word twist (streets.) The next morning, playwrights, directors, and stage managers were called to the Schwartz Center to cast their plays from a pool of actors who had signed up a week before the show.

The pool of actors consisted of five freshmen, nine sophomores, four juniors and six seniors. After casting, the actors were called to the Schwartz, assigned their roles, and rehearsed all day, memorizing lines, assembling costumes and props and coordinating lights and sound. Dancers choreographed a dance piece beginning that morning and worked through the entire day as well.

The final product was performed at 7:30 p.m. in the Flexible Theater at the Schwartz Center. Highlights of the event included a campy murder mystery, the story of an unqualified family therapist working with a dysfunctional family alongside his infatuated assistant  and a play about  woman who stumbles upon a pair of pants that magically dismantles sexism.

The event  normally produces three plays and a film, but the film, even though it was written, didn’t happen this year because of logistical reasons. It will be shown at the next Festival24 event Jan. 27.

Spencer DeRoos is a communications assistant in the College of Arts Sciences.

This story also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.