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24 Hour Theatre Project makes stage magic overnight

This is how it works: Eight local playwrights meet at 7 p.m.  Sunday (Oct. 27) at Palm Beach Dramaworks in West Palm Beach and randomly select headshots of four actors and one director.

Then Monday (Oct. 28), they will present short plays they wrote overnight as part of The Naked Stage’s 24 Hour Theatre Project.

In between, a lot of stuff happens, beginning with suggested topics as soon as the cast and director are chosen.

“I hand them a lot of absolutely ridiculous play titles; the more absurd, the better. And they choose their titles,” says Katherine Amadeo, executive producer and co-founder with husband Antonio Amadeo and John Manzelli. “They have the night to write a short play that can be no longer than 10 minutes. The next day, starting at around 7 a.m., they have 12 hours to rehearse and about 20 minutes to ‘tech’ the show .

“And then at 8, we have an audience in and they go onstage and do their best.”

The 24 hours take six months of work, including planning; coordinating the performance space; poster design; and signing up 32 actors, eight stage managers, eight playwrights, eight directors and a crew of 10 to 12 (recruited from local schools).

The annual event — this is the seventh time around — is a fundraiser for The Naked Stage, a theatrical company operating on the Miami Shores campus of Barry University. This is the event’s first time at Palm Beach Dramaworks’ home, the Don & Ann Brown Theatre.

“Every year, for the most part, we have tried to move it around a lot,” Amadeo says. “It’s very much a community event. We like that. It brings different people in. A big part of it being in West Palm is that [the staff at Palm Beach Dramaworks] were so generous in offering the space. They’re allowing us to basically spend the night and take over the space from Sunday night to Monday night.”

And the West Palm Beach locale means less time with a babysitter for their children, a nine-year-old and a two-year-old…and less time getting back into the family routine afterward, according to Amadeo.

“After the show, we immediately clean. We clean like crazy because we’re kind of guests in their space. Then we crash. And then we get [awoken] at 6:30 in the morning the next day by our kids.”


The Naked Stage’s 24 Hour Theatre Project

When: 8 p.m. Monday

Where: Don & Ann Brown Theatre, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach

Cost: $30 ($50 VIP tickets include premiere seating and commemorative 2013 poster)

Contact: 561-514-4042, ext. 2;

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