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24-hour Haven play event starts tonight

The registration deadline that passed almost one month ago hasbeen lifted for this weekend’s 24-hour Play Fest at the Haven, andtheater officials are inviting any and all high school- andcollege-age youth in Lincoln County to show up Friday night andtake part.

Brookhaven Little Theatre Secretary Beth Breeland said kids’ $20fee would be accepted at the door when activities commence at 7p.m. Friday, and there are plenty of positions to be filled. Theevent has numerous spots for young writers, directors and actors,who will be expected to formulate a 10- to 15-minute play, practiceand perform it within 24 hours.

Breeland said the event would be entirely student-led, with BLTofficials simply supervising.

The students’ production will go onstage at 7 p.m. Saturday.Admission to the performance will be $1.

“This project is really outreach for these kids,” she said.”That’s our main purpose here. If you enjoy theatre, this is goingto be a unique way to experience it. The audience will get aglimpse of all the processes that putting on a show requires. Theywill see the rough version – what can be done in 24 hours.”

After gathering for the first time Friday at 7 p.m., studentswill divide into approximately six-man groups and brainstorm.

Afterward, everyone will go home for the night except thewriters, who will stay in the Haven throughout the night, writingthe script for Saturday’s play in a theater lock-in. The entiregroup will reassemble the following morning at 8 o’clock and havethe next 11 hours to practice.

“This is not anything we’ve ever done before, and it’s going tobe a lot of fun,” Breeland said.

BLT President Tommy Sproles said the 24-hour play fest, an ideaadapted from the University of Mississippi by Ryan Breeland – whowill lead this weekend’s events – is a new concept for the Havenand basically experimental.

“It was just an opportunity to address the high school- andcollege-age demographic in Brookhaven,” he said. “We have our dramacamp and our regular play season, but never really have things forthe high school- and college-age kids. This will be a learningexperience for this age group, and we’d like to continue doing itif the kids like it.”

Save the Haven Committee Chairwoman JoAnna Sproles said the24-hour Play Fest at the Haven is one way BLT plans to make thetheater more available to the public. Given its $1 admission fee,it is not a BLT fundraiser, she said.