Usually, a play could take months to cast, produce, direct and perform – but the upcoming Play-In-A-Day event will make students do all of that in 24 hours.
This year will be the third annual Play-In-A-Day event hosted by the USF Student Theatre Production Board. There are seven directors, seven playwrights and 21-28 actors in total — with one director, one playwright and three to four actors per play — all of which are students.
Students have a variety of role options to participate in the event. If students sign up as a playwright, they have 12 hours to write a brand new play of their own original work. If students sign up as a director, they have 12 hours to direct the play. If students sign up as an actor, they have 12 hours to act out the work.
The playwrights will receive a list of three components Friday at 6 p.m. They have from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. to write a new and original 10-minute play. Students who are directors and actors will receive the play at 6 a.m. and they will get together to rehearse and prepare for the performance.
While the majority of school productions use pre-written and relatively well-known plays, the Play-In-A-Day event allows students to write something themselves and showcase their original work to the USF community.
Jaime O’Brien, a senior majoring in creative writing and theater arts and president of the Student Theatre Production Board, spoke more about what the motive behind creating this event was and what makes this event unique.
“It was a push to have original work and kind of introduce students to theater,” O’Brien said. “It also was a collaboration with other students who are not involved in the School of Theatre. It gets other students involved in theater if they don’t normally have the time to.”
Play-In-A-Day is open and designed for all students, regardless of major, background or previous knowledge of theater.
Asia Garcia is a student who will be participating in this event for the first time this year. She decided to participate because she likes being on stage and wants to get involved on campus.
“I’ve done a few plays here and there, and it is something I haven’t majored in and I wish I did,” Garcia said. “I am a veteran, so whatever I major in for school goes through them, and acting wasn’t really an option. It is something I’d want to do and it is a great opportunity to be on stage again. I wanted to push myself and be out there; I haven’t been on stage in a while and I miss that feeling.”
O’Brien said the event brings a diverse group of student participants, and students in the past have shown great collaboration for the time-restricted event.
“It is a collaboration, just working together,” O’Brien said. “The actors are given a script out of nowhere and they just have to go with it and adapt to this piece.”
Students who are interested in watching the final products of the student-run event can watch the performance Saturday at 7 p.m. in TAR 120.