Theater Guild opens theater season with successful 24 Hour Play Festival

Charlotte Stephens, Katie Brewer-Calvert, Elias Hanna, and Ben Wagner acting in Dane Ritter's play.

For two consecutive years Theater Guild has made bold decisions, and each one garners a stronger connection to the Transy community than the last. Last year it was a ten-minute play festival titled “Tens x Transy” composed of student written work. This year, they have taken that concept and condensed it down to one weekend of work instead.

One weekend of writing, rehearsing and backstage shenanigans. The “24 Hour Play Festival” was not a 24-hour long extravaganza of on stage work being displayed, like one might think.

Rather, teams of artist worked from Friday night to Sunday afternoon to shape up a ready to go performance. Each team had a playwright, a director, some actors and a crew.

Senior Katie Brewer-Calvert, current guild president, explained that, “There are a lot of people with interest in theater, but to them it’s a very high time commitment…this was sort of our solution.”

The goal of this festival was a little less professional than the previous play festival and more about having fun. It definitely showed, from slight slip ups to an entire play dedicated to making Matthew McConaughey and Quentin Tarantino jokes, the atmosphere was lighthearted and playful.

The theme of the festival was “The path you don’t take.” This was not only present in the festival itself, but also the eight out of fourteen participants who had either previously done little or no theater work.

The cast and crew for the festival.
The cast and crew for the festival.

Brewer-Calvert stressed that the goal of Theater Guild “is always to provide students with opportunities especially more low commitment opportunities that aren’t scary.”

The festival started out with a message from Brewer-Calvert giving a brief introduction to the festival. Then in theater fashion, the lights blacked out and the show began.

The first play was written by senior Maggie Garnett and was chock full of literary references that was sure to make any English major squeal with delight. This delightful opening scene followed two girls trying to decided which path choose.

One girl spoke typical dialogue, and the other was the pretentious lit major who only quotes dead English writers.  

The second play was written by junior Dane Ritter and was a bit more serious – for about one minute. The scene opened with a chilling monologue from a girl who was attempting to summon demons.

Charlotte Stephens, Katie Brewer-Calvert, Elias Hanna, and Ben Wagner acting in Dane Ritter's play.
Charlotte Stephens, Katie Brewer-Calvert, Elias Hanna, and Ben Wagner acting in Dane Ritter’s play.

Everything else was comical. From the two demons she summoned to senior Elias Hanna’s performance as the devil himself. Despite all the comedy it did end on a slightly creepy note, which is just what the play festival needed to balance out the next scene.

The third and final scene was written by junior Aaron Botts and centered around Matthew McConaughey and Quentin Tarantino discussing a movie script in a bar. This play was written on film puns alone and the actors brought the punchline home.

All-in-all, for a short 30-minute run, this play festival was a joyful nugget at the start of the 2016-2017 Theater season.

Aaron Botts, Will McClure, and Joey Howard act in Botts' own ten minute play.
Aaron Botts, Will McClure, and Joey Howard act in Botts’ own ten-minute play.

Theater Guild will produce their rendition of “Much Ado About Nothing” this winter semester. For more information on how to join in on the fun you can e-mail

Katie said one last thing about guild, “We are not something to be scared of. We aren’t going to force someone to get up on stage and to sing and dance or anything they are uncomfortable with. We are always looking for people to be on crew or to act or direct and we always want to help find them those opportunities and there’s an opportunity for everyone in theater.”