Generic Theatre prepares for play marathon

Most plays aren’t written, cast, rehearsed and performed in a day. This weekend’s Generic Theatre Company performance is not like most plays.

Starting Friday night, Generic will begin its third 24-Hour Play, an acting and producing marathon that requires all the thought, creativity and planning that goes into plays minus the weeks of preparation.

Friday night at 10 p.m., five to eight writers will hammer out as many scripts as possible in 10 hours.

We write anything from short skits to long, fully developed plays, said Eric Ryles, a member of Generic who has performed in 24-hour plays since Generic began them last year.

At 6 a.m., the writers will take the finished scripts to directors, who are not picked yet. The directors will be picked Friday. Actors show up at 9 a.m. for casting call. The rest of the day is spent rehearsing the shows for the 10 p.m. performance.

It gives people who want to act a chance to be in a performance without committing six weeks of their lives, Ryles said. All we ask for is one day.

Last year’s 24-hour play featured a 20-minute comedy about students writing on deadline.

The atmosphere is very easy-going, Ryles said. There’s not a whole lot of drama. Our goal is simply to entertain.

Ryles said most of Saturday’s skits and plays will be farces and comedies.

The audience plays a big role in making the play entertaining, and has become a hallmark of Generic’s 24-hour play during its short history. Audience members read monologues prepared by the writers of last year’s plays between skits.

Sophomore Brian Elerding was pulled from the audience in two 24-hour plays last year. Elerding said he read monologues about squirrel and hamster testicles, but other readings were more thought provoking.

They can get kind of raunchy, but some of them have fairly significant points . it’s really eclectic, Elerding said. I’ve seen behind-the-scenes enough to know they’re nothing you can expect from it. It’s a nice quick taste of a lot of what’s going on in the theatre department but in a very informal setting.

The 24-hour play is open to anyone who wants to participate. Interested writers should e-mail Generic Theater Company at generic@gwu.edu. Interested actors should show up at Generic’s office in Marvin Center room 420 at 9 a.m. Saturday.

-Russ Rizzo contributed to this report.The 24-Hour Play will be performed Saturday at 10 p.m. in Building J at 2123 G St. Tickets are $1.

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