24 Hour Theatre calls for creativity


Justin Schuller (9), Cherylynn Gholson (9), Isabella Gomez (11), Katherine Morzy (9) and Madison Magdziarz (11), playing members of the Gloomy Gang Circus, plot how to get rid of their new ringleader. The group was upset that their old ringleader left, and at first, they were not used to the new ringleader’s optimism.

Candace Jarzombek, Author

With only 24 hours to write and rehearse 10 to 20 minute plays, members of the International Thespian Society kicked their creativity into gear on April 1 and 2 to get themselves performance ready. Erini Collaros (12) proposed the idea of 24 Hour Theatre last year, and Mr. Raymond Palasz, English, and Nichole Heusmann (12) made it a reality.

“I knew that a lot of other schools around the area did it. I thought [that because] we’re trying to expand our theater company, we have new facilities [and] we’re trying to get our name out there, why not do something like this. It’s only 24 hours, obviously, [so] it’s not too much of a commitment. I thought it would be a fun activity for our theater company,” Collaros said.

Each show was based on a theme provided by Mr. Palasz: the power of tradition, hierarchy in nature, optimism–power or folly and hazards of passing judgement.

“Our show is called Preconceived Notions. We had the theme hazards of passing judgement and when we thought of that show, we automatically thought of bullying, and we didn’t want to take it that route. We were tossing ideas for a while and we couldn’t come up with anything, and then Emma [Pederson (9)] suggested something along the lines of the Breakfast Club. Ours is not a parody, but it’s based off it because we’re not all in detention, we’re in tutoring and we all don’t know each other,” Stephanie Gustas (9) said.

In addition to using skills they learned through other theater activities, participants also learned skills that are applicable to other areas.

“I’m going to take away the teamwork of it because I’m normally a perfectionist in a way, I like to make sure everything goes right. I would take away teamwork because I learned that it’s OK for it to go different and be not stationary, and you should get others ideas instead of listening to one,” Gustas said.