Think of it as 24 hours of theatrical thunderdome. On Friday, August 16 at 7 pm, the Majestic Theatre will be hosting their first Iron Thespian competition, in which eight teams will have 24 hours to write, rehearse, and perform a short play. On Saturday, the 17th at 7 pm, the teams will gather to showcase their plays to one another, and the public.
The brainchild of the Majestic’s Program Assistant Rachel Kohler and Corvallis Access Media’s Chad Howard, the competition is inspired by acting games they played while in college. According to Kohler, The Majestic had previously hosted play-in-a-day events, and she and Howard had long wanted to put on one of their own.
Their goal? To get people involved in theatre who might not be able to due to time constraints. To make the competition more beginner-friendly, actors will not be required to memorize their lines.
The contestants will be separated into eight teams, each with a writer, a director, and 2-4 actors. By Kohler’s account, there will be an even mix between theatre veterans and newcomers. The writers will have 12 hours to script a 10-minute play, which the actors will then have another 12 hours to practice. Complicating matters are the Iron Chef-inspired “secret ingredients,” a list of specific elements that must be included in every play. Kohler says part of the fun for the audience will be tracking how the ingredients are incorporated into each play.
The audience will vote for their favorites. Kohler promises a night of hilarity, thanks to the weird content that “a bunch of sleep-deprived thespians” will surely provide.