The Write Stuff

Young playwrights converge — and try to beat the clock.

Young playwrights converge — and try to beat the clock.

The world moves fast, and traditionalists are apt to grump about what gets lost in the blitzkrieg of our technology-dependent, multitasking, cram-everything-in-right-now modern lives. But mix instant gratification with a classic art form, and sometimes excellent ideas result.

Consider the fourth annual 24-Hour Playwriting Challenge, sponsored by Flat Rock Playhouse’s Studio 52 (the nonprofit’s educational-outreach arm). A super-tight deadline, mixed with a healthy sense of competition, can force creativity into bright bloom.

Groups of theater students from Henderson County high schools meet with Playhouse mentors at 5pm on January 15 to write 10-minute scripts that must be complete by 11pm. Rehearsals begin Saturday morning (January 16) at 9am, when the participating schools’ theater teachers, acting as directors, meet with students and Playhouse staff to begin blocking, memorizing lines, and incorporating costumes and all technical aspects of play production.

By late afternoon, the student groups must be ready to perform their works for each other in a dress rehearsal. And on Saturday evening, the curtain goes up to the public for an official staging.

“The event has grown in popularity with each year, so get there early before the seats fill up,” FRP Artistic Director Lisa K. Bryant advises in a press statement.

 24-Hour Playwriting Competition. Show starts at 7pm on Junuary 16 at the downtown venue (125 S. Main St.). Free (donations welcome).

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