The premise of The LAB’s 24-Hour Theater Festival is simple. Tomorrow night at 7:30pm, writers and directors will come together and pick from a hat one character, one setting and one line. At 8pm, the festival starts and the different teams of writers and directors have 12 hours to write a 10-minute play using the information they have chosen.
At 8am on Saturday, the actors meet the writers and directors and have exactly 12 hours to come up with costumes, stage directions, set designs and learn their lines. At 8pm on Saturday night, the curtain goes up and whether the actors are ready or not, they show must go on.
‘MAD RACE TO THE FINISH’
Photo courtesy of Brook Hall
“It’s a mad race to the finish,” said Brook Hall, the director of many English-language plays and the main coordinator behind The LAB’s 24-Hour Theater Festival.
“When you’re an actor, all you are doing is trying to remember your lines and hope it all comes out right. Sometimes it doesn’t and that’s okay. The audience is ready for the walls to fall down or waiting for the possible car wreck to happen. That’s what gives these kinds of shows a lot of energy.”
An accomplished director, Hall has experience creating order out of pandemonium. He participated in the Taichung version of the festival two years ago, called Quickies, twice; once as an actor and once as a director.
Photo courtesy of Brook Hall
Hall said that writing, rehearsing and staging a theatrical performance in such an accelerated timeframe is a true test of everyone’s abilities. Friendships are forged between strangers and bonds between people become tight due to the pressure.
“Part of the collaborative process is getting to know each other, so people become close in a short amount of time,” Hall said.
Photo courtesy of Brook Hall
At parties or after shows, many people come up to Hall and tell him that they are interested in giving acting a shot. Because Hall spends two to three months rehearsing with his actors before staging a play, he only works with a very select group of people.
A TASTE OF THE BIG TIME
The 24-Hour Theater Festival is a great way for people who want to get into the industry to get a taste of show business and engage with a network of like-minded people.
Hall said that ideally there will be eight 10-minute plays preformed by groups of five actors on Saturday night.
Every prop and costume that he has collected over the years will be available for use. The performers will also have a half hour on the stage beforehand for technical time.
“We’re hoping the lights go on and off at the right times, but there is no guarantee,” Hall said with a smirk.
There are still spots available in The LAB’s 24-Hour Theater Festival. Actors, writers and directors who are interested in signing up for this intense experience can e-mail Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: The LAB’s 24-Hour Theater Festival
When: The directors and writers start Friday at 7:30pm. The actors come in at 8am on Saturday. Performances begin at 8pm on Saturday
Where: The LAB Space (實演場), 3F, 9, Beitou Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市北投路一段9號3樓)
Admission: Tickets are NT$500 and available at the door
On the Net: More info on The LAB can be found at www.facebook.com/labspace
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