Addison — On Friday night at the Addison Theatre Center, four playwrights brought their writing implements (laptops, but probably some pencils too), 12 actors brought a prop and/or costume piece, and four directors came ready to bring their A-game.
It was the initial meeting for the 20 artists involved in WaterTower Theatre's second 24-HR Play Festival.
This was a chance for the artists to meet each other, for the props and costumes to inspire the playwrights, and for WaterTower staffers Kelsey Leigh Ervi and Kyle Eric Bradford to throw out a writing prompt.
This year's theme: Rebirth.
That makes sense considering WaterTower has a new artistic director, Joanie Schultz, and is hoping to redefine itself beginning with the current season, its 20th. Schultz, who has only been in Addison for a few weeks, is participating in this event.
She joins three other directors (Anastasia Muñoz, Jeff Colangelo and Abigail Birkett) who are each assigned to one of four playwrights (Shelby-Allison Hibbs, Janielle Kastner, Brigham Mosley and Steven Young). Each director/playwright team gets three actors from the pool of Kia Boyer, Magdiel Carmona, Shawn Gann, Steph Garrett, Gelacio Gibson, Jeremiah Johnson, Alexandra Lawrence, Doak Rapp, Garrett Reeves, Kelly Stewart, Nicholas Wanjohi, and Kennedy Waterman.
Their props range from a fish puppet (Garrett) and a heart-shaped rock (Lawrence, and it turns out, Gann) to a 1950s movie camera (Boyer) and a Rubik's Cube (Waterman).
The writers have until 5 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, to turn in their final drafts of a 15-minute work (at some point, probably 3:30 or 4 a.m., they will have read them with each other and WTT staff and made revisions). Then, from 6 a.m. through 2 p.m., the four teams each get a two-hour block to rehearse their play in the main space; and from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., they each have an hour and 15 minutes to tech.
At 7:45 p.m. the house opens, and at 8, the performances begin.
We will check back in with the process during the tech rehearsals on Saturday, so look for more photos and video to be added to the TheaterJones Facebook page. In the video above, Ervi and Bradford talk to the group about this year's theme.
To see photos from Friday night, click the slideshow icon in the floating menu in the lower left corner of your browser window.
Update: A video of tech rehearsal from Saturday, for Janielle Kastner's Radio Play:
You can view videos from tech rehearsal of the other three plays on the TheaterJones Facebook page, here.