Theatre and Communication students collaborate to make “7 Day Plays”

Rehearsals for 7 Day Plays, 2021.

Theatre and Communication students collaborate to make “7 Day Plays”

Normally at this time of year, theatre students conduct a time-restricted project called “24 Hour Plays” with only 24 hours to write, rehearse and perform original plays.

Because of COVID restrictions, theatre students joined up with filmmakers in communication this year to create, “7 Day Plays.” This “explosion of creativity” gave students one week to produce and film three original plays.

The films premiered March 20 and are available for viewing at www.gcgivingvoice.com.

“COVID-19 hasn’t been friendly to many of us,” said Angela Criscoe, assistant professor of communication. “However, as we saw in the media industry, television didn’t stop. Instead, they found ways to work at a distance, create production protocols for safety and produce content that still reached their target audiences.”

With this in mind, Criscoe and guest artist Iona Holder came up with a plan. Three student writers developed short scripts that were rehearsed, performed, filmed and edited in seven days. Seven communication students, 10 actors and 20 theatre majors were involved in production. The time frame was extended to a week, in order to create something “worthy of sharing over the Internet,” Holder said.

Film students incorporated the use of 360 video techniques, along with traditional videography. This experience gave Criscoe’s students valuable skills and know-how for producing quality content during a pandemic. It allowed theatre students to continue their craft and learn new film processes, as well. Plays were filmed in one take without stopping, then edited.

Holder has been involved with “24 Hour Plays” for 18 years. She was glad students didn’t miss the opportunity this spring. The process is “an intense, compressed exercise of creating theatre together, a collaboration on fire,” she said. Results are impressive, given the pressure to produce so quickly.

“COVID has provided many challenges, and every challenge is embedded with opportunity for new understanding,” Holder said. “In a time when many universities paused all production work, Georgia College worked to stay informed on the safest ways to move forward together.”

Film and theatre differ in numerous ways, Holder said. But they overlap too. Finding the balance was a learning opportunity.

“It’s important for students across disciplines to have opportunities to appreciate the talents of other students,” she said. “Experiences like this one help bridge the gap and offer students ways to build relationships.”

Updated: 2021-03-25
Cindy Odonnell
cindy.odonnell@gcsu.edu
(478) 445-8668
College of Arts & Sciences