Twenty-four hours, especially for a student, can sometimes go by in the blink of an eye. There are Canvas mods to complete, presentations to prepare, a family to call, online shopping to do, and text overwrites, not to mention the ever-growing biannual sleep deficit. But, for a few intrepid theatergoers, 24 Hours is plenty of time to do something special.
Thyrsus is an on-campus experimental theater troupe that specializes in live productions and student-written material. A hallmark of Thyrsus’ campus presence is their annual Day of Shame, a 24-hour drama-writing festival open to anyone with a theatrical background. In this edition of the Day of Shame, the participants wrote, directed and performed four different short plays centered on the theme of a “macaroon in the colors of the galaxy”. The weird and ever-changing theme is one of the things that makes Day of Shame so unique, according to Senior Reese Toomre.
“My favorite part about all of this is you never know what the theme will be when you show up,” said Toomre, who directed one of the plays for the night. “I think the unboxing process is really fun.”
Experimentation seems to be the name of the game for many Day of Shame attendees, who often take on new roles in the world of theater as part of the event. Senior Ren Klein first ran the theater during the festival because they thought it would be a low-stakes way to try something new.
“I’ve done films before, but never theater,” Klein said. “This format really gives everyone a chance to release the pressure. It gives the freedom to be experimental.
For others, Shame Day is a way to integrate their passion for the theater into their busy life, as was the case for Alice Nguyen, who starred in one of the plays.
“[Day of Shame] it’s less of a commitment, and it’s a lot of fun! I really wanted to give back to the community and do theater, which I love so much, ”said Nguyen.
The audience seemed to share the joy that the performers, screenwriters and directors took in putting on their short plays. There were constant laughs at the witty writing and impeccable comedic timing. I found myself pleasantly surprised at how refined the end products were, especially knowing the state of my own writing done under time constraints. The most important thing, at least for me, was that everyone allowed themselves to let go and have fun with the theater.