NSU drama presents 48-hour new play “bake-off”
TNE Editor

NSU drama presents 48-hour new play “bake-off”

Published 9/20/17

Marissa Mitchell

TNE Writer

Originating in the 1980s in New York, play bake-offs have offered a healthy dose of competition for thespians for years.

The term “bake-off” can be confusing for some. A new play bake-off can take place over days and consists of thespians using their theatrical knowledge to write, rehearse, design and produce a new and original play. To make this event a bake-off, competitors are given select “ingredients” to integrate into their original scripts or designs. These ingredients can consist of  assigned props, lines or characters given to contestants from the judges.

Taking on the challenge of a new play bake-off, the NSU drama program is presenting its first ever new play bake-off for its students. Students will be grouped into teams of six, and then will decide amongst themselves who will take on what responsibilities. These teams will have from 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 21 to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23 to produce a 10-minute long original piece. This gives students 48 hours to complete all the steps necessary for their performance from writing plays to designing sets.

NSU drama  hopes this new event will become an event that will occur  multiple times throughout the school year

Chris Miller, associate professor of drama, is a faculty supervisor for the NSU Drama 48-Hour New Play Bake-Off. Miller was a part of the team of drama professors who came up with the idea to put on this event.

Participants benefit from the experience of creating a brand-new piece collaboratively as an ensemble,” said Miller. “It serves as boot-camp for students to apply and showcase their skills. This could become something done with local high schools as both educational outreach, as well as serving as a recruitment tool.”

For returning students who have experience with playwriting and theatrical designing, this bake-off offers new mediums for students to showcase their talents. Emily Johnson, McAlester junior, recently designed a set for an upcoming NSU drama production and cannot wait to use some of her new skills at the bake-off or to try something new.

I think the bake-off is a really great idea since 24-hour festivals are beginning to become very popular,” said Johnson. “I feel like this will open a lot of doors for people interested in theatre to see the ropes before we start our official season. I hope to dip my toes in some things I have been wanting to try, and it gives me a great opportunity to expand my horizons.”

For freshmen new to the drama program, this offers the opportunity of showing other students what skills they brought with them to college. Megan Todd, McAlester freshman, hopes to land the position of costume designer or be an actress on one of the bake-off teams. She aspires to gain new theatrical knowledge and colleagues.

 “I want to gain new experiences and learn new things within the theater program at NSU,” said Todd. “I want to get to know my fellow peers better while we are working on this project together. [Being a part of the bake-off] could give everyone opportunities come up with amazing ideas and incorporate them in their scenes.”

Students interested in  participating in the bake-off should sign up on the call board located inside the NSU Playhouse. The sign up deadline is 5 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 19.

The finished student projects will be performed at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23 at the NSU Playhouse. These performances are free and open to the public.

For more information, email drama@nsuok.edu.

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