by Jeanie Riess
This Saturday, seven directors and seven playwrights will produce seven short plays in 24 hours, as part of Skin Horse Theater's third annual 24-hour theater fest. A handful of actors will rehearse all day and perform the fruits of the day's work at 8 p.m. at The Allways Lounge and Theater. The cost of the show is - you guessed it - $7.
Anna Henschel, the event's organizer, says the 24-hour theater fest was an end-of-the-year tradition at Bard College, where Skin Horse members all went to college. "We moved to New Orleans and thought, wow, this is perfect for it," she says.
Henschel gathers actors, writers and directors from a variety of companies and corners of the city, including Craigslist in the past, because she wants to make the contributors to the festival as diverse as possible in terms of background and experience. "We actually encourage people who have never been on stage before to do it," Henschel says, "so we have seasoned actors who've performed on a Southern Rep stage to newbies."
On Friday night, everyone involved in the project will get together to vote on a theme (last year's was "It's a Trap!"). After that, the playwrights get to work, and plays are due at 5 a.m. The results run the gamut from spoofs on film noir to absurdist dance pieces, though Henschel says the plays tend to air on the side of comedy.
"Comedy tends to be easier to access in 24 hours," she says.