This weekend, prepare to see 24 hours of writing, music, technical work and acting performed in the span of 90 minutes.
The Schuster Theatre, in conjunction with Gannon University’s honorary theater fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega, is gearing up for the first 24-hour show Gannon has ever seen. This show will be written, rehearsed and produced in 24 hours and then performed at the end of it.
Those involved will begin writing the show at 8 p.m. Friday and perform the show at 8 p.m. Saturday. The show is predicted to last for about an hour and a half.
Cristen Manion, a senior theatre and communication arts major and vice president of APO, said this is the first year that Gannon has put on a 24-hour show, but the concept is popular around the world.
Senior psychology major Matthew Kridel had the idea to perform a 24-hour show at Gannon.
Manion said “The 24 Hour Show” has the potential to attract a wide variety of people because along with the show, the writers are taking suggestions for the theme and the plot. She said she expects most of the audience to be students who know those who are involved with the theater as well as faculty and staff members involved.
Manion said it’s hard to attract a lot of people in the Erie community to the Schuster Theatre because it’s such a small theater.
“The show is going to be more for people who know the fun and crazy antics of people involved with the theater and also enjoy the craziness,” Manion said.
Manion said a plotline has yet to be written for the show, so advertising the show can be difficult.
Jacki Kubiak, technical director of the Schuster Theatre, said everyone has the opportunity to give input on the show by sending ideas via email, Facebook and Twitter. Particularly with Twitter, people have the opportunity to follow what’s going on with the show and give feedback.
“Outside input will help to mold the show and help to create it,” Kubiak said.
Manion said members of APO plan on live-tweeting the event throughout the night to give little snippets about what the show is going to be about and how the process of production is coming along.
Manion said when tweeting, the hashtag to go along with this event is #APO24HRSHOW. In addition to this, live Facebook updates will be posted on the event page.
Manion said she knows several members of APO also have Instagram accounts, which can be used to publish the ongoings of the show.
“We will get the word out there in several different ways,” Manion said. “College students are our target demographic and social media is the way to get their attention.”
People involved in “The 24 Hour Show” are split up into different teams including writers, directors, technicians, actors and musicians, which are then subdivided into composers and singers.
Manion said the reason the groups were split up this way is to follow the main flow of a theatrical show.
The playwrights create the plotline – in this case with the help of outsider input – and the directors string everything together by creating a vision for the show and working with everyone involved to make the show possible. The technicians take the writers’ and the directors’ visions, create it and make it look professional with the help of props, costumes, lights and sets. The actors make the story and the stage come to life.
In addition to these groups, APO has decided to assign a team for music.
Manion said some may argue that music is an unnecessary part of the show, but the talents of the many musicians in the organization should be shared.
“This will give these people the opportunity to write their own music, make original songs and perform them for an audience,” Manion said.
Manion said this group is also essential because singers are important. While some people feel comfortable singing and acting, the two are not synonymous – some people are just singers and some are just actors.
“All of these groups will allow APO to learn the importance of collaboration and give us an opportunity to be a team and a family,” Manion said.
Manion said putting this into action can be easier said than done, however.
Kubiak said deadlines can be very challenging. Working as a team will be a key factor to making this event successful.
Manion said she knows that with people being in the same quarters for upwards of 24 hours will cause tensions to run high, friendships to be tested and also patience to be challenged. It will also be difficult for everyone to keep the creative juices flowing while they are tired.
That being said, Manion said she thinks the benefits outweigh the challenges.
She said “The 24 Hour Show” has the potential to bring back some purpose to APO and give the organization a better idea of what it wants to be.
“This time we spend together also has the opportunity to give our organization a name on campus,” Manion said, “and helping us gain this identity gives us experience networking and working in the theater and the communication arts field.”
Kubiak also said she thinks the benefits outweigh the challenges faced with this show.
“Despite the challenges, I think it will be a show of talent and creativity that our students have as well as a show that people can influence,” Kubiak said.
“The 24 Hour Show” will be performed Saturday night. Tickets are $6 and only 150 tickets will be sold. Members of APO will be selling tickets all week and some tickets will be sold at the door.
Manion said part of the reason only 150 seats are available is due to space constraints and possible safety hazards, but limiting the number of available tickets also adds exclusivity to the show.
Since the show is a one-time only event, only a small amount of people will be able to see it, which helps get people interested in the show and gives them a reason to want to go.
Kubiak said this event will serve as a fundraiser for the Schuster Theatre’s trip to the 2014 International Collegiate Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Kubiak said the fundraising idea is very appropriate for Alpha Psi Omega because it helps theater by making theater.
“Don’t miss this one-night-only event,” Kubiak said. “It’s 24 hours in the making, 90 minutes in performance and then it’s gone.”