Students to write and perform a play in a single day

Addie Beach, Senior Staff Writer

Even with unlimited time, creating a play is an overwhelming task for most people. But, participants in this year’s Red Eye Drama festival have only 24 hours.

The event will challenge small, randomly selected groups to write, direct and rehearse a 10-minute play, known as a “Red Eye 10,” all in just one day.

UVM will be joining schools and theaters across the nation in putting on the Red Eye 10s Sept. 29.

The goal of the festival is to celebrate new theater, said junior Jimmy Hayden, one of the University Players organizing the show.

“It’s about coming together and creating original ideas,” he said.

While UVM has a large theater community, opportunities for showcasing student-written work are limited, Hayden said. He thinks Red Eye 10s could help with that.

According to the Red Eye website, the festival usually releases six pre-written plays for participants to choose from. However, because UVM is not an official host, the students can create the plays from scratch during the event, Hayden said.

This will be just one of the practical challenges built into the event that makes it both unique and unpredictable.

“We can provide structure,” Hayden said, “but until the 24 hours starts, we have no idea what it’s going to look like.”

The students won’t know who is participating or the play’s content until the festival begins, he said.

“The struggle is the not knowing,” Hayden said, “but that’s part of the fun,” he said.

At the heart of this fun is the cooperative nature of the Red Eye 10s, which works as a “place to learn collaboratively and gain from the experiences of others,” Hayden said.

Junior Natalia Bastante, a theater and business double major, also pointed to teamwork as an essential part of the event, along with “creativity, focus and endurance.”

Bastante said that while they are not participating in the event, they are excited to see the plays produced.

“Red Eye Festival is a great opportunity for artists of every kind to come together and create something wild and brilliant,” they said.

Interested participants are instructed to arrive at the Ira Allen Chapel at 6 p.m. Friday, where they will be sorted into groups. The 24 hours begin at 7, and the plays will be publicly performed in the Chapel when the period ends at 7 p.m. Sept. 30.