Though it has only been done twice before, Naked Stage's 24-Hour Theatre Project has quickly become one of the favorite annual events of South Florida's hardcore theater fans. Playwrights, directors, actors and the folks at Naked Stage -- Antonio Amadeo, John Manzelli and Katherine Amadeo -- are aiming to prove yet again that with talent, hard work and vast amounts of caffeine, you can put together a good program of brand-new short plays in just 24 hours. That includes the time it takes to write the plays.
This year's 24-Hour experience (which is actually a 25-hour process from its start to the beginning of the one and only performance of the plays) begins at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 when playwrights Andie Arthur, Christopher Demos-Brown, Elena Maria Garcia, Lucas Leyva, Michael McKeever, Andrew Rosendorf, Juan C. Sanchez and David Sirois will gather to find out the title of the plays they'll write, who will direct the finished script and who will be in it. Then they go off and, after a panic attack or two, spend the night writing.
On Oct. 12, directors Clive Cholerton, Todd Allen Durkin, Barbara Flaten, Margaret M. Ledford, Amy London, Stuart Meltzer, Hugh Murphy, Kim St. Leon and Paul Tei meet in the wee hours with their playwright and cast. By 8 p.m., the fun begins for the paying public in the upstairs Balcony Theatre at Actors' Playhouse in Coral Gables.
This year's actors are, as always, a top-tier bunch: Irene Adjan, Katherine Amadeo, Tracey Barrow-Schoenblatt, Cliff Burgess, Ken Clement, Michaela Cronan, Beth Dimon, Nick Duckart, Lela Elam, John Felix, Scott Genn, Maribeth Graham, Betsy Graver, Avi Hoffman, Sandy Ives, Christopher A. Kent, Wayne LeGette, Margery Lowe, John Manzelli, Lisa Morgan, Francisco Padura, David Perez-Ribada, Erin Joy Schmidt, Deborah L. Sherman, Adam Simpson, Barbara Sloan, Mark Swaner, Barry Tarallo, Laura Turnbull, Tom Wahl, Ricky Waugh and David Arisco. (Some may drop off these lists, others may be added.)
Tickets are $25, and they'll go on sale soon. This year, the 24-Hour Project kicks off the South Florida Theatre Festival 2009, which means it will include a preshow reception, an intermission raffle and a post-show party sponsored by SouthFloridaTheatre.com and the Theatre League of South Florida. Brand new theater and a party? Hey, I'm there.