24 Hour Creative is a creative challenge put on every year at Camino Real Playhouse in San Juan Capistrano, California. Six writers, six directors, and 30+ actors create six ten minute plays, all within 24 hours. Writers are given a theme at 8PM on Friday, actor auditions are held, and writers write all night to create a stage play. Directors take the scripts and turn them into produced plays with the actors rehearsing all day. At 8PM that night, the show goes on.

This was my seventh stage play on stage, and my fourth year doing 24 Hour Creative. The co-founder and producer, Jennifer Hartline, puts on a spectacular show every year, and this year was my favorite. Each year we remember the show’s co-founder, Bruce Alexander, who we miss dearly. The professional quality is second to none, and to do all this in 24 hours is quite impressive.

This year’s theme was “realistic vs. unrealistic optimism.”

My play, “The Optimism of Youth,” was brilliantly directed by Arash Aiinehsazian, and our stars, Sabrina Paris (Jennifer), Matthew Carter (Hack Thespian), Taite Morrison (Ink Slinger), Erika Maggipinto (Mythmaker Word Smith), and Zara Melikyan (Gogh Between). A playwright can write a bad play, but only the director and actors can make a good script great. And, they did.

Corey Eib creates exceptional videos as part of the social media campaign. Check his work out on Facebook. Just search for 24 Hour Creative to see photos and videos about the performances.

24 Hour Creative will be back, better than ever, in 2019. If you’re in the area, you should make plans to come see creativity at its challenging best.

The director and cast of “The Optimism of Youth,” performed at 24 Hour Creative

February 5th, 2018

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Have you ever wanted to see a live stage event where everything has been created in the previous 24 hours? 24 Hour Creative, held on February 6th at the Camino Real Playhouse in San Juan Capistrano, CA., does just that. Six playwrights are chosen to write a play overnight. Six directors are chosen to take the script in the morning and rehearse until showtime that night. And actors audition, get cast, and perform the plays within that 24 hour period.

If you think it’s fun to attend (and it is), it’s even more fun to participate. I’ll be writing for this year’s event, as I did last year. What a rush. I meet the show’s producer and my director on Friday night. Actors arrive for auditions. After auditions, the producer gives each playwright the theme for the show, and they plays. Each of us gets the same theme.

Then the thrill ride begins. The writers go home and write. All night. We create a ten minute stage play. We bring it back to the theatre at 8AM on Saturday, and go over it with our director, and be cast the play from the pool of available actors. Actors arrive at 9:15 and are told what role they’ll be playing, and rehearsals begin. Six or seven rounds of rehearsals take place all day, and by 8PM, the curtain goes up.

The show is made up of volunteers, and all proceeds from ticket sales go to the theatre. This is their big fundraising event for the year, and it helps keep live theatre alive and well in the area.

I’m honored to have been selected to be one of the six playwrights. I love live theatre, and this theatre is a local gem, run by exceptional people.

I’d tell you what my play will be about, but I have no idea. You’ll have to come find out, just hours after I create it.Image 2-1-16 at 3.36 PM

February 1st, 2016

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I love live theatre. Everything about it screams ‘this is special.’ The audience anticipation as the curtain is about to go up, the vibrant settings of a musical or stage play, the crisp voices, all make for a memorable event, one that lasts for decades.

One of my favorite experiences is to see a performance at a local playhouse. Local playhouses, like many forms of local entertainment, don’t have an easy go of it these days. But they are worth supporting. Their passion for live theatre is a joy to behold. Volunteers step up to bring the audience a wonderful experience. They teach us and our children about the arts, and provide opportunities for teaching our youth how to act, how to create.

And the actors don’t get multiple takes. They have to get it right every time they perform. I have so much respect for actors who perform live.

The Camino Real Playhouse in San Juan Capistrano, California, is a great venue for live theatre. Two of my favorite events are coming up.

The first is their annual international playwriting festival – ShowOff!. Each October, hundreds of authors submit one act plays for consideration. Then, in January, seven are selected and produced over a seven day stretch. Each day you attendees see all seven plays, plus a bonus reading from one of the plays submitted. It is a fantastic event I’ve attended many times, and it always leaves me happy I went.

This year, I’m honored to have written one of the plays being produced. “The Asylum for Rejected Characters” makes it’s world premiere Friday, January 15th, and continues through January 24th.

The second event, held on February 6th this year, is “24 Hour Creative.” This event is an entirely volunteer effort intended to help Camino Real stay viable. As the name implies, all of the work happens in a 24 hour time period. The writers get a theme Friday night, actors audition, writers spend the night creating a ten minute stage play, and everyone convenes Saturday morning and start rehearsing. The show goes up that evening. It’s a fabulous event, the shows are great, and the directors and actors do a phenomenal job pulling this off.

I was honored to be a writer for this last year, and I’ve been invited to write for it again. I can’t wait.

If you’re in the area and want to catch some live theatre, check out http://www.caminorealplayhouse.org. You won’t be disappointed.

January 7th, 2016

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