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Actor Daniel Andrade performs with castmates during one of the 10-minute plays.
Bellaire High’s theater department Red Bird Productions kicked off the school year with their annual 24-Hour-Play Festival on September 9. Actors, writers, and directors all came together to deliver plays created just 24 hours before. Each ten-minute play had a writer, a director, and four to five actors.
A day before the performance, randomly assigned groups received a prop they had to include in their play in some way. After school, groups met and planned out the general idea of their plays. At 6:30 p.m., 24 hours before the performance was scheduled to start the next day, the writers got to work. They were given 12 hours, until 6:30 the next morning, to write a full-fledged, ten-minute script.
The next morning, the directors of each play arrived at 6:30 a.m. ready to block out their plays. Actors entered next at 8 a.m. They spent the whole day rehearsing and re-rehearsing, fine-tuning their plays for the big performance in Bellaire’s auditorium.
The plays were the perfect event to kick-start the new school year at Bellaire. Students, parents, and teachers alike filled up the rows of the auditorium as the lights dimmed and the actors took the stage.
After the plays were over, the actors, writers, directors, and technicians flooded the stage for a final bow.
Amy Liu, a junior at Bellaire and an actor this year, spoke about her experience in the 24-Hour-Plays. “This year, I got a lot more lines than usual, but it was really fun,” Liu said. “I really enjoyed it!”
Her play, “First Dates Are Murder,” featured an ordinary first date gone awry, a gumball machine as the prop, and an unexpected rendition of Frozen’s “Love Is An Open Door.” This is Liu’s third year with Red Bird Productions, and she’s made sure to be a part of the 24-Hour-Plays each year.
“It’s important to me that I go every year,” Liu said. “It’s really fun and it’s a great experience!”