Cinnabar and Players Join Together for “Plays in a Day”

Erika Riley, Staff Writer

Photo Feb 27, 6 42 06 PM

If somebody told you to write an original play, rehearse it, and perform it all in approximately twelve hours, would you believe it to be possible?

For the Ward Melville Players and members of Cinnabar, this daunting task became a performed reality. On Wednesday, February 27th 8 Plays in a Day produced its fourth succesful production.

8 Plays in a Day is exactly what it sounds like. Students, in groups of 3 to 5 writers had from first to eighth period to write an original play. After the writing was finalized, the remaining 6 hours of their day was dedicated to meeting with directors and actors in order to rehearse.

This is all the time they have until the audience shows up to view the plays. The plays aren’t much longer than ten minutes each, but it’s still a difficult task to complete, as many writers experienced.

Each year, the Cinnabar and Players representatives choose a theme which all the plays must follow. The theme is kept secret until the writing starts. This year, Cinnabar representative and president, Silvia Cohn and the Players representative Sam Cruger chose the theme “fear.”

Maria Scutari, a senior and member of Cinnabar, explains that the theme was, “Hard at first to think of a topic, but once we had one it was much easier.”

Though some groups found the theme helped their process. “Writing to a theme did make it easier because we had something to base it off of. We probably didn’t stick to the theme the way some of the other groups did, but we did a sufficient job,” said Sam Cavanagh, sophomore and first-time playwright about her group’s play “What the Donald.”

Cavanagh’s teammate, Ursula Mates, about the experience of creating a single play with  four different writers said, “Writing in a team was hard because a lot of the ideas didn’t blend together,” the junior and first-time writer for the event said.

In response to Mates’ comment, sophmore teammate Lizzy Dolce said, “You have to try to make everyone happy. The play is very spontaneous. That made it easier to write.”

When watching the plays, it was hard to believe that they were put together in such a short time. Though the writers struggled with the pressures of the the time constraints, it didn’t show in their performances.

“It was harder than I thought it would be,” Jake Vincel, sophomore, shares. “We used every second of our time, but I think we did great.”

Most of the plays were strictly comedy, and each one had the audience laughing. There was a wide range of plays. There were one-scene plays with no more than three characters, like “When Poseidon Knocks: The Story of a God’s Insecurities” which showed that even gods have fears, and “The Crash,” that poked fun at the fear of flying.

Many of the plays focused on the funny side of phobias. One collection of short skits, “A Series of Fearful Events” featured multiple phobias, such as Claustrophobia and  Achluophobia (fear of the darkness) and even Gelotophobia (fear of laughing), which clearly did not afflict the audience.

In “The Phobia Convention,” three characters who were in charge of naming phobias tried to think of a new phobia to unleash onto the world. The final result: A fear of nothing.Photo Feb 27, 7 22 28 PM

In the play, “What the Donald,” the main character, Donald, goes to a psychologist in order to treat his nightmares which involved weddings, America’s Next Top Model, and more hilarity.

“Sunny Upside-Down” showed a more sentimental side of fear, where Nick Greene’s character was fearful of staying in a new retirement home, away from his daughter (Marissa Wehrman), and went to extreme measures to get himself out.

At the end of each play, the actors, writers, and directors stood together to take a bow. Each group received a loud, appreciative applause from the audience. The plays were a success.