top of page

How 24 Hours / Play In A Day Works


No matter what you call it, the entire artistic process from concept to curtain up happens in a 24-hour period in front of a paying audience; the scripts have yet to be written. The concepts have yet to be conceived.


30 Actors, 6 Writers and 6 Directors meet for the first time on a Friday night thriving on nervous excitement. The proceedings take place in the foyer of the theatre, where, in 24 hours, these gathered artisans will perform their hearts out, on stage.


To keep this event true to its name, minimal information is disseminated to the gathering. The Actors need to bring with them; 1 piece of costume and 1 prop; no rules or instruction of what to bring, keeping it random. The Writers bring their laptops and for good measure, a dictionary. The Directors are armed with their true grit and open mind.


On the stroke of nineteen-hundred hours, 42 artisans are hushed in front of the Producers. The rules are simple; write a script, approximately 10-minutes in length and give each Actor equal stage weighting.


The Producers check off the names of the gathered and place their names into three hats; 1 for Directors, 1 for Writers and 1 for Actors. The process begins. The first random name to be chosen is 1 of the 6 Directors; to form the first group. Next, a random name from the Writers’ hat. Finally, 5 random names from the Actors’ hat to form team 1. Teams 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 go through the same process until all artisans are in 6 groups.


On the stroke of twenty-hundred hours, the Producers announce the theme of the event. All 6 Writers must base their play on this theme. The Actors show their 1 piece of costume and 1 prop to the Writer and Director. Each Team brainstorm the play’s theme, incorporating the pieces of costume and props into the script.


On the stroke of twenty-three hundred hours, it’s time for the Directors and Actors to go home, to sleep, you have a big day ahead of you, rehearsing your lines that are about to be written. Writers: coffee, tea and sugar lollies in hand, it’s time to write your minimum 10-minute masterpiece to be performed on stage, tomorrow night.


On the stroke of o-six-hundred hours the following morning, the Directors turn up to read their script; meanwhile, the Producers cook the Writers breakfast. This hour allows the Writer and Director to discuss the script and make minor changes or edit out those mid-morning typing mistakes.


Time to print off the scripts, one for each Actor and one for the Director.


On the stroke of o-seven-hundred hours, the Actors arrive to read through their script and discuss their characters and storyline with the Writer. They will be amazed at what you have created whilst they have been sleeping.


On the stroke o-eight-hundred hours (and one third of the 24 hours spent), the Writer goes home to sleep. The Director is now in charge of this fine 10-minute creation. Let the rehearsals begin. The Directors and Actors read through their scripts, discussing characters, storyline, convictions and methods, motivations and meanings and eventually the Director plots the direction of the Actors.

No need to worry, each of the 6 groups will be allowed technical time on the stage with the Stage Manager and the Lighting Manager, about twice should do it.


Look out, here comes nineteen-hundred hours again, only, it’s now Saturday and this time eagerly awaiting audience members are milling in the foyer of the theatre, dressed to the nines and feeding off the nervous excitement filling the air from the Actors and the Directors.


The Front Of House Management and Staff busily feed and water the audience, selling programs and welcoming them to the theatre.


Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, and the very tired Writers, please take your seats, as you’re about to witness 6 shows that have never been written before and have never been seen before and didn’t exist, 24-hours ago.


Who’s exhausted?

Play In A Day (6x one-act plays)

SKU: 1k975vz8
  • ISBN 978-1-291-83253-2

    Paperback (print book)

    120 Pages

    US Trade (6 x 9 in / 152 x 229 mm)

    Standard Black & White

    60# Cream

    Glossy Cover

bottom of page