Benicia High School Advanced Drama Class performs in their 24-hour plays

 As I arrived at the show, I had very low expectations. I mean, how can you create and perform a play in so little time?

By Taylor Ferreira

    On Saturday the 16th, BHS Advanced Drama class performed their “24-hour plays.” The name doesn’t lie. These students had to write, direct, memorize, and rehearse their 15 minute skits in one day. The theme was “stuck” and the skits ranged from serious topics about anxiety, to humorous anecdotes about bad relationships, drunk mothers, and genetically modified crabs.

    As I arrived at the show, I had very low expectations. I mean, how can you create and perform a play in so little time? At the most I was ready to cover some outlined improv. However, I was pleasantly and greatly surprised. The skits were well planned out and chock-full of relatable humor. The audience was engaged in the action, and the characters were fit with eclectic costumes and developed personalities.

     Johann Klapstein and Kaitlyn DeLa Cruz hyped up the audience during their skit as the crowd joined them chanting, “scene change! scene change!” every time they rotated the furniture. In a skit featuring a controlling mother and some reluctant lovers, even the actors felt the hilarity of the scene as the mother, infatuated with her drink, couldn’t help but turn it into a spit-take, spraying her daughter with the “alcohol.”

    Mr. Day introduced each scene with a brief description of each story and a list of the students involved. Each skit had its own set of writers, actors, and a director, some with students tackling several roles. It was clear that the experience furthered the already evident comradery among the students, many of which were performing for the first time, as the actors and writers in the audience supported those on stage with boisterous laughter. Inside jokes also made it into the skits as Hot Pockets made several appearances. I guess they would become pretty important if you are stuck in the PAB for a night.

    Sabrina Peterson, one of the writers, described the process of creating one of the skits. She said, “My favorite part about writing in the 24 hour plays was being around other writers who had their own ideas and writing processes. We stayed up all night at the school, which was something none of us had ever done before. By the time we’d finished writing, which was around 3:00 am, we were pretty much just hanging out: eating candy, drinking energy drinks, watching jeopardy and stuff. It was a solid time.”

    The eight skits featured in Twenty-four Hour Plays were a great display of the capabilities the students in our drama department possess. They displayed quick-witted humor, cooperation, and determination as they accomplished entertaining the audience under a strenuous time restraint.

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