24-hour playwriting festival

For the fourth year in a row, Upper School theater students hosted a celebration of instant and spontaneous creativity in the Franklin Theater.

At 4:00 p.m. last Friday, playwriting prompts created by Waynflete students went out by email to students from Deering, Morse, Kennebunk, and Scarborough High Schools. The task: write a short play overnight to stand on its feet with actors and audience the very next day! Thirteen plays emerged. All had the same prop (a single sock), the same location (an airport), and the same line of dialogue (“That’s how they do it in Maine”).

After some improv games, a quick set of rehearsals, and a pizza lunch, 24 actors and playwrights took the stage. Critical feedback was given to each play. The audience was asked to respond to the following questions: What was something you particularly liked? What was the center of gravity in this piece? Is there anything you wanted to know more about? What questions do you still have? The day ended with a full group reflection on the big takeaways. For some it was an affirmation of their love of theater in communion with like-minded peers, for some and invitation to keep writing and acting, for some it was just a day of pure fun. Everyone agreed they would be back next year with new and unexpected prompts!

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