24-Hour Play Fest (Told Hour by Hour)

So, I’m not a theater major. I’m not even a theater minor. The extent of my involvement in the theater department, prior to last week, was attending Yuccas with my theatrical friends and seeing the MainStage productions every semester. I’m no playwright. That said, when my friend approached me about writing a play with her for 24-Hour Play Fest, a annual tradition in which ten plays are written, prepared, and performed within, you guessed it, 24 hours, I signed on. It was incredible experience, one that I was entirely unprepared for, but walked away from feeling accomplished, trendy, and exhausted beyond belief. Here’s what my experience was like, told hour by hour.

9:00pm: Alright! Here we go! I got my laptop, I got my friend, I’m surrounded by theater majors I’ve never met before and they’re being really kind to me…I CAN DO THIS!

10:00pm: Wow. This really isn’t going to be hard. We’ve got a great premise. We are the two funniest girls on this campus. We are going to crush this.

11:00pm: Okay…. Not really sure where this play is going. It’s fine though. We’re only two hours in. I can feel a brain blast on its way.

12:00am: Oh no. We’ve written two lines in the last sixty minutes.

1:00am: GET ME OUT OF HERE. I’M NOT HAVING FUN. I CAN’T DO THIS. I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS. I WANT MY MOM. I WANT MY BED. THIS PLAY IS TRASH. I HATE MYSELF.

2:00am: I am a creative genius and the voice of my generation. This play will end up in anthologies.

3:00am: Okay. This play is perfectly fine. Goodnight forever.

4:00am: sleep

5:00am: sleep

5:45am: I need to pee

6:00am: Great, now I can’t fall asleep again.

6:15am: sleep

6:30am: alarm goes off. I crave death.

7:00am: We can’t pitch this play to people. I’m going to poop myself. For some reason, this environment feels tenser than a Shark Tank episode.

7:05am: That went perfectly. We are the voices of our generation.

7:30am: Ok time to watch some auditions… Wow these actors are all so confident. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I express myself like that… Delaney, stop it. Don’t go to that place.

8:00am: Alright. The play is cast. Time to hear them run through it. This is going to be great.

8:01am: They hate it. Oh my god, they hate it. The actors hate the play. None of the jokes are landing. Please lower me into my grave.

8:08am: We are amazing. That was incredible. Flawless. Iconic. Amazing. Never been done before. Please still lower me into my grave.

8:30am-4:00pm: Some sad combination of napping, eating, calling my mom, and feeling excited/anxious

4:30pm: Ok, stop festering.

4:35pm-6:00pm: disassociating while staring blankly into my computer screen, I mean… studying for finals!

6:00pm: Alright. Time to go back to the theater and see how things are going.

6:30pm: This is amazing! Our play has turned into a real thing! I strung together words to make sentences, and someone took the time to memorize those sentences! Wow!

7:30pm: Eating dinner

8:00pm: Stress-eating a second dinner comprised of deli meat

9:00pm: Showtime.

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