50 Artists Create Five New Plays in One Day 

The event is back after a two-year hiatus. Shown, 2012's 24-Hour Theatre Project. (Photo by Enrico Spada)

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 24, 2016) – They have one night to write and only -- one day to play. The clock starts ticking when the playwrights’ fingers hit their keyboards and ends when the actors take the stage at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Saturday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m.

It’s the 24-Hour Theatre Project, presented by PAC in collaboration with WAM Theatre, a professional theatre company in the Berkshires, in conjunction with the New York State Writers Institute. Given just 24 hours to create, rehearse, and perform five new plays, the project combines the spontaneous creativity of improvisational theatre with the rigorous professionalism and production value of scripted theatre.

This fast-paced adrenaline-packed event is back after a two-year hiatus. The PAC will welcome all 50 participants on Friday, April 1.

Playwrights will spend the overnight hours creating new work which will be delivered to directors, actors, and designers at 8 a.m. the next morning, leaving less than 12 hours to rehearse before the 7:30 p.m. curtain call on Saturday, April 2.

Marnie Andrews, a contingent faculty member in the Theatre Program, is among those acting in the production.

“This is my first time working as an actor on such a project,” said Andrews, who has studied at the National Theatre of Great Britain, now the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain. Andrews balances her teaching at UAlbany with other professional commitments to act and direct throughout the year.

“My heart delights in developing new work,” said Andrews, who has been teaching at UAlbany since 2008. “One of the joys of my career has been to originate roles in the premieres of new plays. This project fuels my passion for creating new work with playwrights and directors. To have a fully assembled team, including stage managers and technical designers, should be great fun.”

UAlbany junior Tyiesha DeJesus of the Bronx, is also among the project’s actors. DeJesus is a double major in theatre and psychology who played Henry Clay in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Chloe in Good Kids, and Steph in Reasons to Be Pretty.

While it will be a challenge to learn her lines in such a short amount of time, “I am beyond excited for the whole process starting at the initial meeting and concluding with the performance,” said DeJesus.

Shannon McManus is a UAlbany senior from Cooperstown, N.Y., who is one of the stage managers working on the 24-Hour Theatre Project.

Over the course of her four years at UAlbany, McManus, a double major in business administration and theatre, has assistant stage managed, stage managed, or production stage managed every Theatre Program show. These include Words, In the Next Room (Vibrator Play), Reasons to Be Pretty, The Carrion, Spring Awakening, Born This Way, Good Kids, Reunion/Re-Unions, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.

McManus has worked with WAM Theatre before, when they came to UAlbany her sophomore year and she stage managed Everywoman, which sold out for its one-night performance.

“I really enjoyed working with WAM, love their people and their mission,” she said. “I plan on continuing to work with them after graduation and I’m looking forward to doing this project with them.”

Ticket information is available on the PAC site.

Support for the 24-Hour Theatre Project is provided by the University at Albany Foundation, University Auxiliary Services and Hampton Inn.

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