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Students work around the clock on Festival 24

By: Spencer DeRoos, communications assistant College of Arts and Sciences, 
September 6, 2017

On Aug. 26, more than 45 student actors, dancers, directors, playwrights, stage managers and technical crew came together at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts to produce four plays in 24 hours during the annual Festival 24. The event, which involved only theater productions at its inception in 2008, added film and dance in 2015.

Event coordinator Irving Torres-Lopez ’18 said Festival 24 seeks to “create a space where students can create, enjoy watching and enjoy creating performative and media art. The participants create art boldly and fearlessly, and this event solidifies the importance of this artwork on a campus that often overlooks it.”

Playwrights stayed up all night, from 7:30 p.m. until 5:30 a.m., to write a 10- to 12-minute stage play based on a one-word theme (“focus”) and a one-word twist (“streets”). The next morning, playwrights, directors and stage managers cast their plays from a pool of actors who had signed up a week before the show.

The actors consisted of five freshmen, nine sophomores, four juniors and six seniors. After casting, the actors were called to the Schwartz, assigned their roles and rehearsed all day, memorizing lines, assembling costumes and props and coordinating lights and sound. Dancers choreographed a piece beginning that morning and worked through the day as well.

The final product was performed at 7:30 p.m. in the Flexible Theater at the Schwartz Center. Highlights included a campy murder mystery, the story of an unqualified family therapist working with a dysfunctional family alongside his infatuated assistant and a play about a woman who stumbles upon a pair of pants that magically dismantle sexism.

This article originally appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

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