For the sixth time in ten years, I was invited to take part in OVERNIGHT SENSATIONS, the 24-hour play festival that Hollins University and Mill Mountain Theatre produce each summer in Roanoke, Virginia. (If you’re a stickler, it’s the sixth time in 11 years, because the event skipped one year when the theatre was under renovation.)
Here are some photos of how it went down.
Packed for the adventure.
More photos below:
I always wear this hat to the opening ceremony on Friday night. (Photo by Dan Smith).
Todd William Ristau corrals the troops. Or herds the cats.
The playwrights take the stage. The first thing we do is draw a director.
I drew Taylor Gruenloh. Then we take turns drawing a cast, setting (reptile house), genre (farce) and theme. Todd seems surprised at the theme I drew: “Do you trust them or do you not want to suspect them?”
Here’s my cast!
The writing gets underway at the library at Hollins University.
Morning comes early. The production meeting at 8 a.m. The directors read over what the writers have produced. Then we start talking logistics.
11 a.m. Actors arrive for a ceremonial feeding, and the passing out of scripts.
The table read.
Claire Hilton really likes the idea of being a chameleon.
Two bumbling criminals get ready to break into the reptile house.
More rehearsal. Soon after this, we got our turn to rehearse on the big stage.
Taylor Gruenloh oversees rehearsal during our 30 minute turn on the Trinkle Stage.
After that, off to another rehearsal room. By this point, I was taking a nap in my office. Photo by Taylor Gruenloh.
Waiting . . .and going over lines. Photo by Taylor Gruenloh.
Waiting for showtime. A full house!