Chugging caffeine, Andover students rushed to beat the clock as they wrote, directed and performed six plays from scratch in just 24 hours this past weekend.
The marathon event started off as the Theatre Producers, Miranda Haymond ’12, Eliana Kwartler ’12, Taylor Perkins ’12 and Andrew Schalger ’12 arrived at Steinbach Theatre at 7:45 pm on Friday night to meet with the writers, directors and actors.
After the writers finished writing their plays in the wee hours of the morning, the directors arrived to pick up their scripts. Rehearsals with their actors commenced at 8:00 am.
At 7:00 pm Saturday evening, all six plays were presented flawlessly to a full house, despite having been devised just 24 hours before.
“It was challenging but it was really fun at the same time. The stressful part was mainly for the writers, because as an actor, we were almost given what we had to do, and the plays were quite short, so it was manageable,” said Emmie Avvakumova ’14.
“Without a doubt, the 24 Hour Plays are the most rewarding experience of the entire year,” said Haymon in an email to The Phillipian.
“It requires a lot of energy; something that is hard to find at 3:30 AM. Although I didn’t have that much sleep, I had tons of laughs, made lots of friends and helped create six amazing shows in such a short amount of time. I wouldn’t want to spend 24 hours any other way,” Haymon continued.
The plays presented featured twisty plot lines, tangled relationships and at times, surprising and hilarious elements.
“Cut Throat,” written by Veronica Harrington ’13 and directed by Evan Eads ’12, featured a male cast dressed entirely in drag.
In the play, Emma, played by Elezhan Zhakiya ’12, Heather, played by Chris Blackwood ’12, and Ashley, played by Vincent Mocco ’15, are three best friends waiting to hear about their admission to the University of Pennsylvania.
When Emma and Heather are accepted to UPenn, Ashely, who is wait-listed, loses the control of her emotions and impulsively stabs them both with her high-heels.
Ashley then proceeds to their computers and declines each of their admission offers, putting her name in instead.
“It really needed to be ‘all out’ and also some people may have been nervous to perform it because it was in drag, and there were some pretty non-PC things in it,” said Harrington of her play.
“I was truly so proud of Vincent, Ijan and Chris. They were incredible and all-out, which was brave and entertaining!”
“Just One Minute”
“Just One Minute,” written by Tia Baheri ’12 and directed by Shelby Carpenter ’12, has a story line that revolves around a love potion that can make one instantly fall in love with the person at first sight.
Charlie, played by Margaret Curtis ’12, is a girl who works at a second-hand shop and captures the affection of two best friends, Aaron, a sensitive guy played by David Benedict ’15, and Luke, a self-centered jerk played by Andries Feder ’13.
Tired of being constantly rejected by Charlie, Luke brings the love potion to the store. To show Aaron that the potion works, Luke gives some to Shena, played by Kaitlin Poor ’13, who immediately becomes infatuated with Aaron.
Luke then asks Aaron to give the potion to Charlie and to call Luke over as soon as she takes it. Aaron gives the potion to Charlie, but before she drinks it, he confesses his love for her.
After drinking the potion, Charlie says it doesn’t work, since she had already loved Aaron.
Catching Aaron with Charlie, Luke is about to be driven into despair, when he is surprised to find out that Shena actually loves him without the potion.
After a twisting love intrigue, the play ends with two friends finding the girls of their dreams.
“Motivation”, written by Samantha Peloquin ’12 and directed by Kate Chaviano ’12, was a comedy about moving up in the “art world.”
On the opening night at a gallery party, the featured artist, Marc, played by Nick Camarda ’12, meets a young college graduate, Eve, played by Lauren Smith ’15, who aspires to one day have her own artwork featured in the gallery.
When Marc and Eve are carrying on a conversation, Berenice, a comical chef played by Angela Batuure ’13, keeps on interrupting them.
“My favorite part about my individual play was Angela as Berenice and her very funny lines. All these different culinary delights that Angela was trying to get us to eat were ingenious and added to the ridiculousness of the entire play,” said Camarda.
Eve then meets Lana, the gallery owner, played by Gaelyn Golde ’13, who reveals that the only reason to have Marc be the featured artist is because Lana had “hooked up” with him before.
In astonishment, Eve realizes that the art world is all about sex. Determined to climb the ladder up in the art world, she leaves the stage with Lana.
The third play was “Small Mammals” written by Omegar Chavolla-Zacarias ’12 and directed by Arianna Chang ’13.
For Zoey, played by Bianca Navarro-Bowman ’15, impregnation by her boyfriend Zach, played by Ryan Canavan ’12, makes her ineligible to obtain a role in the play she deeply wants to be part of.
While Zoey desperately tries to tell Zach about their baby, their friends Max, played by Kory Stuer ’15, and Harim, an exchange student played by Scherezade Khan ’12, enter and reveal that Zach has a dreadful phobia of small mammals, including babies.
The child is born, and Zoey despairs about having to raise her child as a single mom.
Later in the play, Harim pulls out the baby from her backpack and Zach grudgingly agrees to hold it and decides to be Zoey’s spouse.
“My favorite part of my play was when Scherezade pulls a baby out of her backpack. Ryan is afraid of small mammals and feels like the only way he can conquer the fear is by holding a baby. Scherezade’s character is absolutely crazy and her pulling the baby out of the backpack not only brought down the house, but was oddly in character!” said Chang.
“The Ghost of Parties Past”
“The Ghost of Parties Past,” written by Tailor Dortona ’12 and directed by Anna Stacy ’13, began with a group of friends from college reuniting at a dinner party at the home of Esther, played by Esther Cohen ’14, and James, played by Theodore Agbi ’13.
While eating dinner, Esther sees Adam, played by Adam Brody ’14, who was killed at a college party several years ago.
Apparently, Esther is the only person who can see Adam, and her friends Billy, played by Sirus Han ’13, and Elizabeth, played by Elizabeth Oppong ’12, become annoyed at Esther, who is reminding them of the night when Adam was killed.
“Working with a character that only one other character can see was a welcome challenge,” said Stacy.
Adam’s ghost keeps on agonizing Esther, and to everyone’s surprise, Esther soon confesses that she had killed Adam to all her friends.
“We Are It”
“We Are It,” written by Susannah Hyde ’13 and directed by Lydia Kaprelian ’13, was the opening play.
In the play, Sophie, played by Jackie Murray ’13 and Daniel, played by David Tylinski ’12, are an Andover couple who sneaks out one night around Andover High School.
While prowling, the couple hears a sudden cry for help. Sophie and Daniel trace where the scream comes from and find Clara, played by Avvakumova bound to a chair and gagged.
“I have to admit that wearing leopard prints and being tied up to a chair is pretty fun. I now have bruises around my wrists though,” said Avvakumova.
Sophie questions Clara of her situation and is shocked to discover that Daniel knows Clara. Daniel, then confesses he was the one who tied Clara up and claims it is a long family tradition, which he thought would make Sophie love him even more.