March 24 marked HSU’s fifth annual 24 Hour Play Festival held in the Studio Theater. The 24 Hour Play Festival is an annual event produced by HSU students and faculty where students are given free reign and agency to direct, write and produce scenes that are then performed for the public 24 hours later.
The play was organized by HSU senior Madison Glee, featuring original works performed and written by HSU students. The festival was overseen by faculty member and HSU production manager Derek Lane.
“An Unexpected Visit,” written by Robert Matthews and directed by Irma Gill, was a brief scene focusing on a singular, rather peculiar interaction between characters Saint, played by HSU senior Camille Borrowdale, and her Bulgarian counterpart Sveta, played by HSU freshman Zoe Remund.
The scene saw both women meet seemingly randomly on a bench of an anonymous college campus and having an increasingly strange conversation. Saint soon realizes that Sveta is a relative from the future and the two share a joint before deciding to just hang out and grab lunch.
“The overall process for ‘An Unexpected Visit’ began at 7:30 last night,” said Borrowdale, fresh off the stage. “The writers [started] working on their scenes and they wrote all night, their scripts were due at six in the morning and then quickly chose from a group of all us actors who they wanted to cast, and then we just started cramming until right before the performance.”
Memorizing the blocking, choreography and dialogue of a scene in a 12-hour period is no small feat, especially considering the length of their scene, and that Borrowdale and several of her fellow castmates were in multiple, unrelated scenes.
“Yeah it was pretty frustrating at first trying to memorize all my lines,” Borrowdale continued, “But it’s really rewarding getting off stage after working all day on this and being done!”
The whole process seemed to be intentionally very impromptu; with an emphasis on the element of surprise.
“We didn’t audition for this either,” Remund said, who played Sveta the Bulgarian visitor from the future. “Anyone could have been a part of the festival and we stress that anyone of any level of experience can join us.”