Tick Tock

Playwrights and actors alike try to beat the clock at CUPS 23 ½ Hour Playfest.

Monica Sager, Scarlet Staff

The second annual 23 1/2 Hour Playfest was put on by Clark University Players Society (CUPS) Feb. 23-24.

New plays were written, directed, acted, and produced in less than 24 hours and were supposed to last between 10 and 20 minutes. Five plays were put on, each unique in its own way. Anyone was welcomed to contribute to the plays.

Writers met Feb. 23 at 9 p.m. They then had until 8 a.m., just 11 hours, to write their plays. Writers were encouraged to bring a laptop and charger while CUPS was to “bring the inspiration.”

“Writing is always a challenge,” said Brett Iarrobino (’21), the writer of “Expenses,” which seemed to be one of the most well-received by the audience.

“I started around 9:30, and I told myself I would be done by 1 at the latest, and I left the Little Center at 4 a.m.”

However, the inspiration that CUPS brought did help Iarrobino, who actually heard of the 23 1/2 Hour Playfest during his revisit day and thought he could never do something like that.

“They had this entire set of props and just random things that were pulled out of the Little Center,” he said. “They were like, ‘Writers, look at this and think about the cast…and just start thinking and just start writing.”

“Expenses” was about a couple that just graduated from college. Nadine has an Expense Day each month in which she plans out everything to a tee, but that’s not how her boyfriend, Jeff, works. The play was very relatable and included humor throughout.

“I remember I was looking through the props and I found an abacus,” Iarrobino said. “I remember thinking of my mom … who went to school to be an accountant … I could totally see her in the 80s or at some point in her life with my father before they were married, totally just going at it on the abacus — absolutely loving it, crunching numbers, telling him exactly how much they owed.”

Another of the plays was a monologue written, directed, and performed by Mayrav Feynman, called “Andy Andrew is Undefeated.”

It was a portrayal of a Netflix comedy special by the titular Andy Andrew, who talked about growing up and aging. It really seemed like a comedy show. The first half was definitely super funny, but the play ended on an emotional note.

Directors started to review their scripts and pick their cast at 8 a.m. on Feb. 24. Actors auditioned with a cold read monologue, according to the 23 1/2 Hour Playfest handout.

The show started at 7 p.m. in the Little Center. CUPS called it a “high-speed-performance-art,” and that it definitely was.

“I’m very proud of it,” Iarrobino said. “It’s dawning on me that there’s going to be an audience in there. It’s not just me and a piece that I wrote, but also four others. It’s really humbling to think about all the art that’s going to be shown off today.”