“Just how quick is the World’s Quickest Theater Festival?”
What is 14/48, and just what is so quick about it? Is there something about 14/48 that causes actors to speak faster than usual, or are they the world’s shortest plays?
Neither! We love to hear your questions about 14/48 – Vashon Edition. Here is the skinny on how it all really works.
Essentially, 14/48 is an opportunity for over 40 island and off-island artists to team up and test their skills when everything from themes and props to directors and cast are all drawn from a hat and the clock begins to tick. At the end of the weekend, participants will create and perform 14 plays in 48 hours.
Seattle-based 14/48 Projects is an internationally recognized organization that has left audiences surprised and delighted since 1997. Today, 14/48 Festivals are held annually across the US and Europe. This year’s fourth annual 14/48 – Vashon Edition is performed at Open Space for Arts & Community in collaboration with Vashon Center for the Arts.
How it Works
On Thursday, 14/48 participants choose a theme by completing this sentence: “Theater would be a lot more interesting if there were seven ten-minute plays about _____.” In the following 48 hours, directors, writers, actors, and designers join to create spontaneous theater. Fueled by coffee and adrenaline, seven writers spend the night crafting brand new 10-minute plays based on that theme. The next morning, seven directors randomly select a play. Their cast is assigned soon after as names drawn from a hat.
Now for the busy part. Throughout the day on Friday, the band arrives to prepare music and sound while designers fabricate all technical elements of each show. Meanwhile, the directors and their cast (freshly drawn from a hat!) spend the day rehearsing and memorizing. Each of the plays get 20 minutes of tech rehearsal. Yes, you read that number correctly. Finally, on Friday, January 24th at 7pm, the curtains will part to present seven world premieres, and again at 9pm for seven final performances. The 7pm audience provides the theme for Saturday’s show by, you guessed it, a random drawing. The seven writers return home to begin the process again, which culminates in a 7pm and 9pm show on Saturday, January 25th. By Saturday night, 14/48 participants will have unbelievably created 14 plays in 48 hours.
More than a Festival
14/48 participant Janet McAlpin describes the feeling on stage as “sheer terror and exhilaration because you genuinely, truly don’t know what will happen next.” But the event is more than just a madcap challenge to pull off the seemingly impossible. “You get a sense of creation and community and collaboration. It’s a condensed form of the juiciest parts of being an artist. Because it is so fast, it demands of the artist to be fully present in every moment of a 48-hour period as a member of this creative community.”
Themes of community are echoed among 14/48 participants. According to founding chairman of the board of the 14/48 Projects Anthony Winkler, beneath the wild atmosphere of the World’s Quickest Theater Festival, the event is really all about growing community: “We build new collaborations among artists in a community. We ask them to do impossible things in stressful ways, which results in exciting new theater for participants and audiences. Finally, the greater community as an audience builds new bonds by experiencing fresh theater as a result of the intense, crazy process.”
What to Expect at 14/48 – Vashon Edition
To paraphrase Forrest Gump, 14/48 is perhaps best understood as the chocolate box of theater… you just don’t know what you’re going to get. McAlpin relates the audience experience to feeling a bit like a eating at a hibachi restaurant. “The main element that stands out while watching 14/48 is the excitement and freshness of seeing something that has been created that day. It’s the Benihana of theater; everything is cooked right in front of you.” As you witness the insanity, you will likely be a combination of exhilarated, impressed, gobsmacked, and utterly wowed…. but one thing is for sure: it is a truly once in a lifetime experience!
Full Cast and Crew for 14/48 – Vashon Edition 2020
Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma
Deb Pierce McCabe
Aimee Nicole Lewis van Roekel
Tickets are $18.00 advanced / $20.00 at the door for the 7pm shows.
$12.00 advanced / $14.00 at the door for the 9pm shows. Additionally, A limited number of pay-what-you-can youth tickets are available exclusively online in advance. Click here to get your tickets today!