Written by Gabriel Huff // Graphic by Cooper Turman
Campus Players, a theatre club available to all majors, is hosting its fifth annual 24-Hour Writing Project Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 on campus, encouraging students to implement their talents in producing mini performances.
The event is open to all students, who can volunteer to write, direct and act for different shows, though no one is allowed to both direct and act. Sign-ups are open until noon today and the project will begin at 7 p.m.
Sophomore Aubrey Jones, vice president of Campus Players, is helping run the event along with club president senior Gabi Gonzalez.
“The writers will come in and start from scratch,” Jones said. “It usually ends up being about a 10 minute play or so, just a shorter script. And then the directors will come in a couple of hours later to help flesh out ideas, and they’ll do read-throughs to get a final script out before curfew on Friday night.”
On Saturday morning, the actors will go through a quick audition process and get assigned to a show and its director. They will then spend the rest of the day rehearsing until showtime at 6 p.m. in the Reynolds Recital Hall, when the entire campus is invited to watch the results of their work.
Jones said there are usually about six to 10 shows produced, with each one having a runtime of about 10 minutes.
Junior Emma Myhan, Campus Players’ publicity officer, said that outside of limiting scripts to a short time period and keeping them Harding appropriate, the shows do not really have any boundaries, allowing writers to be creative with their plot and characters.
“Writers tend to keep their cast size between two and four, or two and five, because if it gets above that then we have to start double casting them in shows,” Myhan said.
Both Jones and Myhan said the 24-Hours Writing Project enables students to get involved in theatre without having to devote a significant amount of time to an entire production.
“This is one weekend where we can go through the whole creative process and students are able to be creative and have fun with each other without having to worry about all that commitment,” Jones said.
But the event is not only for the students’ benefit. Campus Players sponsor Seth Fish said the organization usually charges a $2-3 entry fee to raise funds for a larger-scale show the organization performs in the spring, which in turn raises money for a charity.
“Each year, the students choose a different charity, depending on the cast and the director,” Fish said.
Started in 1924, Campus Players is one of the oldest organizations on campus. The club does not hold a formal membership outside its officers, allowing students to participate in events as they please.
“It brings together lots of different majors, people from different backgrounds with different interests, and unites them in their love for performance and theatrical experience,” Myhan said.