30 plays in 60 minutes? You heard right. That was the basis of this year’s high school fall play, “30 Neo-Futurist Plays from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (30 plays in 60 minutes).” The concept was just the beginning of the unconventional experience that the sold-out audiences were treated to in October.
Before entering the Black Box Theater through the rarely-used side doors, theater-goers were asked their name by crew members, identically clad in bright orange jump suits, Buddy Holly glasses and listening to loud music on over-sized headphones. Each person received a name tag—with a completely random name written on it!
Bucking tradition, the show was billed as dinner theater. Well, actually “snack” theater. After receiving their name tags, patrons had the chance to buy snacks and were even given free popcorn, courtesy of Friends of the Fine Arts. Entering the theater, they found not one but three stages. Interspersed were cafe tables, each with a “no food or drink” sign on it. Confusion reigned and only increased as the crew built the “set” while the audience entered, only to tear it down as the actors took the stage.
The show then began with the cast ordering pizza…for real. When the poor pizza guy walked into the packed theater 30 minutes later, the show stopped, lights came on, money was exchanged and pizza was served. As suddenly as it had stopped, the show picked up right where it left off!
As soon as one play ended, the audience could shout out requests for the next one, choosing from a menu of plays placed on each table. The plays ranged from absurd to frighteningly confrontational. Several included members of the audience. Once the clock on stage reached 60 minutes, the show ended and the audience left, taking with them the exuberant, playful and oddly thought-provoking experience provided them by the 16 cast and 26 crew members. (David Neale, HS Fall Play Director)