What do Al Gore, Superman and a talking panda all have in common?
Each were featured in the one-act plays that composed this year’s WIRED, a 24-hour short play competition sponsored by All College Theatre and TCNJ Musical Theatre.
A cast of other zany characters joined the politician, superhero and bear during the performances, held on Feb. 5 in the Brower Student Center. For a $5 admittance fee, students were treated to original plays that were written, casted, rehearsed and performed by fellow students — all in just one day.
Fueled by excitement, sleep deprivation and enough caffeine to power a small elephant, the five groups didn’t let the long hours stand in their way of putting on wonderful productions.
The competition began Friday night, as writing teams were sent on a scavenger hunt at 8 p.m. to discover the theme of the show.
After mass confusion, during which all five of the writing teams arrived at the wrong location due to a difficult clue, the theme of the night was revealed to be “Shaken-up Shakespeare,” challenging writers to incorporate elements of famous Shakespeare plays into their plots.
From 8:30 p.m. until approximately 4 a.m., the writers worked feverishly, only to be challenged throughout the night by the new list of demands the events’ arbiters threw at them.
The five “twists” that the writers needed to include in their shows were a character with an outrageous job, a character with an awful accent, a character that comes back from the dead, props that have nothing to do with the story and a “Snapple fact.”
Actors met with the writers and directors at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning and had until the 8 p.m. start time to bring the entire vision together.
Ranging from western comedies to science fiction dramas to a truly bizarre fairy tale, the final plays covered diverse and wacky bases.
The plays were judged based on their use of the themes, the quality of the writing and the performances of the actors.
The award for best stage management went to Matt Luppino for his work in “Three Chomps to Mescalero,” while Jeff Mondoro, a senior finance major, was recognized as the
night’s best actor as the hilarious Mayor Doc Emmett in the same production.
Junior physics major Julian Starr and sophomore biology major Dan Loverro’s script for “Piecing Together the Past,” a hilarious account of the “cold war” between humans and icebergs, won the well-deserved award for best script of the competition.
The big winner of the night, however, was “Flufflemuffin Memoirs,” a fairy tale involving a drunk prince, his homicidal princess and talking animals.
The play won the award for best show, while junior psychology major John Cherney received best director, and Lindsey Nice picked up the award for best actress as the princess’s panda friend.
Ray McCue, a senior Spanish major who co-wrote “Flufflemuffin Memoirs,” admitted that although the experience was fun, it was anything but easy.
“It was difficult to start,” McCue said. “We didn’t get our stride until 1 a.m.”
At the end of the night,
all participants were ultimately rewarded with the best gift they could possibly ask for: The chance to finally get some sleep.