The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

It’s About Time for the 24 Hour Theater Project!

WHAT: The 24 Hour Theater Project
WHEN: Saturday, November 3, 2018 // Two performances: 7 & 9 PM
WHERE: Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley Street, Northampton MA

TICKETS: Advance at Brown Paper Tickets with link at

Northampton, MA—Let the countdown begin to the 24 Hour Theater Project, a dramatic race against time to bring five short plays to life. The Center for the Arts is proud to revive its role as host for this beloved and highly anticipated event founded in 2002 by playwright Tanyss Rhea Martula. Two performances take place on Saturday, November 3 in the Flex space at 33 Hawley Street. Tickets are $18 general admission/$12 students. (Student price valid for 9 pm show only.) They are available in advance at Brown Paper Tickets. Any remaining seats will be sold at the door for $20 general and $15 students with payment by cash or check.

While the premise is simple, the execution is anything but: within 24 hours, five ten-minute plays will be written, rehearsed, directed, produced, and staged. The culmination of this day-long burst of creativity are two public performances, often standing-room-only, showcasing local writers, actors, and directors. Previous 24 Theater organizer Liz Foley once described the event as “theatrical mayhem,” and it makes for an entertaining evening full of surprises.

The time-limited and adrenaline-filled process begins on Friday evening, when five playwrights meet to draw cards with unnamed actors’ descriptions out of a hat. Once they have their cast information, the playwrights have 12 hours to create a ten-minute play. In the morning, they hand off their scripts to five directors who then read the script for the first time, gather their actors, and spend the next 10 hours rehearsing, while others father props, costumes, and set pieces.

This year’s organizational duties were handled by Susanna Apgar, Kyle Boatwright, Michael Charland-Tait, Mark Gaudet, Troy David Mercier, Myka Plunkett, Linda Putnam, Tomàs Roche, and Jaz Tupelo. While there are many returning favorites among the writers, directors, and actors, the committee made it a priority to seek out some fresh new voices for this year’s event. “The 24 Hour Theater Project is not just about the plays that come and go.” notes  Apgar, “It’s about building the Valley’s theater community by growing our relationships with one another, and with our audience.” Veteran 24 Hour Theater Project playwrights Phil O’Donoghue and Tomàs Roche will be joined by Melissa Dimetres, Betel Arnold, whose play TIGHT PANTS delighted audiences at West Springfield’s Majestic Theater this summer, and Siobhan McManamon, who recently kicked off this season of the Smith College New Playreading series with her play BEAR HUG.

Another new face for this year is the venue. The organizers of the 24 Hour Theater Project are excited to bring this celebration of our community’s theatrical talent to the Arts Trust Building at 33 Hawley Street, home of the Northampton Center for the Arts.

The 24 Hour Theater Project directors feature Susanna Apgar, John Bechtold, Toby Bercovici, Jeannine Haas, and Ellen Morbyrne. This year’s actors include Lisa  Abend, Nick Baker, Jane Barish, Kyle Boatwright, Scott Braidman, Nichole Calero, Joe Cardozo, Michael Charland-Tait, Gabe Cifuentes, Bill Dwight, Emmet Flaim, Melle Lowenthal, Moe McElligot, Linda Putnam, Myka Plunkett, Sam Samuels, Linda Tardiff, and Rich Vaden.

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