Thursday, November 22, 2012

Play in a Day, Tech


A flock of 50 artists awake and together at 7AM at the Lake Howell High School Auditorium to start rehearsing for Play in a Day. I got there around 11:30AM or so. I asked Beth where I could find Aradhana's Cast. She didn't know where that cast was rehearsing. Different casts had staked out different class rooms. I asked everyone I met where I could find the cast. I had arrived at an inopportune time to sketch because everyone was about to break for lunch. During lunch I found the female actress from Aradhana's play named Gwendolyn Equality Boniface. She let me know that they were rehearsing in the boys dressing rooms. Of course! Why didn't I think of that! After lunch she explained that they would be doing tech on the main stage.

Beth Marshall was being interviewed by a new video blogger who was asking her questions about Play in a Day. She pointed out that the high school venue had the advantage of offering young aspiring actors the chance to work beside and learn from seasoned actors. The first play on stage for Tech was a CSI themed play that showed a manic, stupefied playwright seated behind a computer with Mountain Dew cans strewn all over the stage. A female officer examined a can by picking it up with a pen. The playwright shouts out "They want me to write another play!" His face twitched. Another officer explained the horrifying specifics of the crime but it could best be summed up as play in a day. A prisoner in a jumpsuit whispered, "No one should try and produce a play in a day, it isn't humanly possible!"

Aradhana's five minute play was the next play on stage. Chelsea Adams Locklear directed the piece. A high school girl, played by Gwendolyn, was doing pleas to stretch before a dance rehearsal with her flamboyant boyfriend played by Cory Price.  She muttered "Owe" after each squat. The boy teased her until she admitted that she shaved herself. He said, "I hope you don't catch a cold." and he made sneezing gestures with his hand pointing at her crotch. "A chew! A chew!" She wanted to go home but he was depending on her. A teacher tried to find out what was wrong and he reassured her saying "It is only natural."  Her friend laughed, saying, "He thinks your having your period!" She was mortified. I liked how the short play resolved itself with the two friends on the edge of the stage blowing bubbles. She had shaved to feel more like an adult but as a result she felt more childish than ever. The two friends playfully chased each other off stage. There was an innocence despite the uncomfortable subject. I was glad I got to see what had been typed out the night before as I sketched the playwright Aradhana Tiwari. I couldn't stay for the show because I had to do a live projected sketch performance at a concert. I packed up to leave once the actors took their bows.

Money raised from Play in a Day went towards first annual Beth Marshall Presents, District 3 Thespian "Wild Card" Scholarship, which will be awarded to an emerging theater student.  Aradhana won the voter choice award for Revolution which was her one minute production at Play in a Day.

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