Thursday, February 23, 2017

Art in the Public Eye 24-Hour Play Fest

This weekend Art in the Public Eye (APE) of Glens Falls is holding its 24-Hour Play Fest. Writers, directors and actors randomly form teams to produce a 10-minute play. This Saturday, February 25 at 8 pm, 10 teams will descend on the Wood Theatre where audience members will vote for a winning play, director, and actors.

According to APE Play Fest Chairperson Erin Coon the event was modeled after a similar event held while she attended Indiana University. On returning home Coon to the Lake George area, Coon helped link the local effort with national 24-Hour Play producers.

This year the writers chosen to participate are Tony Collins, Shane Frasier, Matt Funiciello, Jane Gabriels, Jenny Golightly, Tim Gonyea, Burnham Holmes, Damon Lee, Asa Morris and Chad Rabinovitz. Writers meet on Friday where groups are selected and a theme is announced. Each writer then must produce a competed 10-minute play by 5 am the next morning.

“Each team has four actors, one writer and one director,” says Coon. “The teams are drawn out of a hat so everything is fair. The director and actors come in the next morning and start rehearsing for the evening show. Meals are donated by local restaurants and we have a volunteer crew.”

Coon states that each director is given a prop to work with. The audience is asked to vote on which director best used the prop. By the time the audience arrives the actors will have learned their lines, directors will have made countless decisions while volunteers have helped with costumes, make-up, lighting and sets.

“One year we gave each director a pineapple,” says Coon. “They had to find a way to incorporate it into their play. It is sometimes difficult for an audience to really grasp all that a director does. The special prop helps the audience focus on just one aspect of what the director is accomplishing.”

Coon says, “It is an event full of high energy. People walk in to see the shows and can feel that energy in one building. That leads to great expectations. You just never know what’s going to happen.”

Admission for the 24-Hour Play Fest is $20. With each admission the audience is given color-coded votes to cast for best play, director, and male and female actors.

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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