University of Scranton’s 24-Hour Musical

No, it wasn’t a musical that lasted 24 hours. This past weekend, I took part in a stage production that spanned 24 hours from production to performance. On Friday, auditions were held for a play unknown to anyone except the directors and heads of production at 5:00 PM. At 7:00 PM, the actors were cast and the name of the show was announced. When the actors, crew, and directors returned to the Royal Theatre at 8:00 PM, we began working on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; it was only 24-hours before show time.

When I first heard about the 24-Hour Musical, the first thing that popped into my head was, “Who would want to watch a day-long musical, let alone perform in it?” After finding out the true nature of the show, I was impressed and excited. This is theatre designed for me: no preparation, no long-term time contracts, and all the anticipation of opening night packed into an almost impossibly short time period. How could I not take the bait?

There was an air of excitement—the kind that is always felt the day of a show—and a refreshing spirit to the cast and crew that lasted well into the night and the next morning. About 5:00 AM on Saturday, the cast was dragging and the crew was bored… it was time for a short nap. I cheated a bit and ran home for a short rest and shower, but when I returned, we were in much the same situation. I worked on the costume crew (my first time ever) with Rachael, LeighAnna, and Liana; it was a light workload for all of us, seeing as how (almost) everyone was to wear bed-sheets fashioned into togas with safety pins.

Despite the fact that the show was still looking rather rough at the dress rehearsal, the actual performance went off without any major problems. Many leads in the show held their scripts while on stage and referred to them periodically, but it was barely noticeable next to the superb acting and singing of the entire cast. Most likely, the 24-Hour Musical will translate into an annual event, considering the great success of this year’s production.

Yeah, I know this is a sketchy account of an action-packed weekend, but I’m way behind on my work right now… which is probably the only reason why I’m writing this entry. The blogosphere is a delicious way to waste the day away.