|Brittany Remington, a fourth year Advertising and Public relations and Psychology major, Jessica Van Giesen and Stephanie Mattio perform on stage in a skit titled, "Time's Up!", during the RIT Players' 24 Hour Show.
The production and execution of the RIT Players’ 24 Hour Show is part theatrical marathon and part creative sprint. The goal of the most
recent incarnation was to cast, write, direct, rehearse and perform a series of original skits between 8 p.m. on Friday, April 27, and 10 p.m.
Saturday, April 28. (Yes, that’s 26 hours, but who’s counting?) It was an exercise in artistic teamwork, one that required directors, writers,
actors, tech supervisors and artistic directors to work in relative (and in one case literal) harmony to put on a cohesive show.
Over the course of the day-long creative process, REPORTER checked in on the production to witness how so many minds could come together
to juggle such a task. And how would it all come together?
8:06 PM - Fireside Lounge
The buzzing of excited conversation fills the open air of the Fireside
Lounge as a growing group of young actors socializes and familiarizes
themselves with the short audition scripts they’ll be performing
to secure their spots in the 24 Hour Show. Everyone who auditions
gets a part, even though none of the parts have been written yet.
Artistic Director and fourth year Applied Mathematics major Joe
Plock explains that when evaluating actors during auditions, he and
his assistant artistic directors ask themselves, “What can they do in
a scene? Are they big, flexible actors? Can they project?” He adds,
“They’re things you’d look for in a normal actor, just without having
a part in mind already.” The fact that no one knows what the roles are
yet makes the evaluation of talent slightly different from the normal
audition process. “Instead of casting for certain roles, we just cast
and give the roles out after we’ve written them. It’s kind of a reverse
|Peter Kratz, left, and Jeremy Sickels pass the time backstage before their performance at the RIT Players' 24 Hour Show at Ingle Auditorium.
Fifth year Computer Science major Erik Corwin has been a part of
RIT Players for two years, but this was his first chance to act in the 24
Hour Show. Corwin prefers playing comedic roles and sees them as an
extension of his personality. “I prefer silly. I’m a pretty happy person.
I would have a harder time playing a role that didn’t go along with my
personality,” he said. “I have absolutely no shame. How crazy can I get,
how much fun can I put into it?”
For his audition, Corwin performed an animated skit about
an encounter with a larger—than-average spider with fourth year
Advertising and Public Relations and Psychology double major
Brittany Remington, who echoed his enthusiasm. “I’m really passionate
about this club. I love these people,” says Remington, the group’s vice
president and PR coordinator. “It’s our entire lives.”
12:16 AM - Fireside Lounge
The chatter has died down, and the actors have left for the night.
The remaining bodies in Fireside belong to the writers penning the
scripts for the morning’s rehearsals. Each 24 Hour Show has a theme
picked from the numerous suggestions presented by Twitter followers,
strangers on the Quarter Mile and even President Bill Destler, who of
course suggested something banjo-related. They ended up going with
“Turn Back the Clock,” setting the tone for the evening’s scripts. Writers
work together or alone, brainstorming and bouncing ideas off of each
other, and the best scripts will be selected by the artistic director.
The writing process goes on until early in the morning and is not
without its fair share of headaches. Fourth year film and Animation
major Shawn Gray is both writing and directing this year. “This being
my last show, I really wanted to write something good,” Gray says.
|Lauren Held, a Biomedical Photographic Communications major, and Nick Giordano perform in a skit titled, "HvZ: The Musical" during the RIT Players' 24 Hour Show in Ingle Auditorium.
”That was a big stress on my brain. I couldn’t think of anything until
literally one in the morning when I had two hours left to write it and
refine it.” Things came right down to the wire, yet Gray ironically
managed to bust out the final four pages of his script “Time’s Up” with
15 minutes left until the 3 a.m. deadline.
4:33 PM - Liberal Arts Hall (LBR 06), Room A205
This auditorium-style classroom under LBR serves to best mimic what
the performance will be like in Ingle Auditorium later that night. Each
of the selected scripts rehearses in different classrooms throughout the
building, and then takes a turn in A205 to tweak their blocking and
vocal projections. Currently Joe Plock and Shawn Gray are going over
“Highway,” the scene that Gray will be directing. It is also the only
serious play of the evening. Gray details his directing experience.
“You have to know how to talk to people to evoke a response. Just
because you say ‘I want you to be angry’ doesn’t mean they’re going to
be angry,” Gray explains. Gray says that directing requires confidence,
communication and people skills. “One of the worst things you can
do as a director is run up and show an actor how to do something
by acting it out yourself,” Gray says. “Then the actor doesn’t have any
freedom or way to do their own thing.”
“Highway,” the story of a man who gains the ability to “transcend”
and travel through time, yet fails to keep the love of his life from
leaving him, features both experienced and novice actors.
12:07 AM - Campus Center
The majority of the audience has dispersed out of Ingle Auditorium,
while a few cast and crew members tear down the set, collect props
and costumes and say their goodbyes. Brittany Remington lies out
exhausted on a couch in the hallway. “I’m dead,” she jokes. Erik Corwin
has headed home to prep for the after party. Shawn Gray, who waits for
a friend in his sleek “director’s suit”, reflects on the final performance.
“We had a few technical problems,” he says. The group wasn’t able to
get the proper time to prepare in the previously occupied Ingle before
the show. “Everything else flowed pretty smoothly.”
Corwin and Remington starred in Gray’s play “Time’s Up” as a “time
lord” and a genie battling for attention. “It worked out really well; I
was happy with how it came out,” Gray says. The performance allowed
Corwin to let loose, delivering perhaps the funniest and most overthe-
top showing of the evening.
The rest of the show featured the “Fourth Wall Protection Agency,”
a crotchety Abe Lincoln, Justin Timberlake on “The Hunger Games,”
multiple attempts to kill Hitler and even a Humans versus Zombies
musical. Characters made surprise cameos throughout other plays,
alarm clocks were used as currency and Queen Elizabeth was very
Despite the sheer number of moving parts involved, the hiccups
along the way and the lack of sleep, the production could easily be
regarded as a success. Not bad for a day’s work.