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Theater Dept. to Offer Fast-paced '30 Plays in 60 Minutes' for its Spring Production

April 2011

Sauk Valley Community College’s Theater Department will offer three weekends of incredible, interactive theater with its spring production of 30 Plays in 60 Minutes.

This fast-paced production will run over three weekends. Curtain goes up at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 15; Saturday, April 16; Friday, April 22; Saturday, April 23; Friday, April 29; and Saturday, April 30, in the Mathis Theater.

30 Plays in 60 Minutes attempts to perform 30 short plays from the Neo-Futurist catalog in just one hour. The plays are a combination of humorous, dramatic, satirical, and experimental works that attempt to do more than most plays do in two hours. The show is described as “an emotional and intellectual roller coaster of ideas and images ridden at breakneck speed by a participating audience.”

In this unique production, the audience gets to call out the order in which the plays are performed. If the actors do not finish the plays before the buzzer goes off, the show stops at that point - even if the actors are in mid-play. Also, at the end of each weekend, a member of the audience will roll two dice on stage.  Whatever the dice add up to will be the number of plays removed from the show menu on that weekend, and that many new plays will be in the menu the following weekend.

“This interactive, living-newspaper, theatre/sports event is one of the most unique, hilarious, exhilarating, and thought-provoking shows you will ever see in the Sauk Valley area,” said Jason Hedrick, who directs this production and Sauk’s successful theater program. Hedrick added that no two shows in this production are the same. “There are new shows every weekend in a new order every night. If you've seen our show once, then you've seen it once,” he said.

The cast includes only eight actors and two technical assistants.  Hedrick said these talented theater majors are rehearsing an incredible 54 short plays to prepare for this production. The cast includes Erica Dimmig, Sterling; Allison Lampe, Polo; Carlye Schweska, Sterling; Emily Thompson, Rock Falls; Kevin Tumleson, Dixon; Ethan Waters, Rock Falls; Nathan Waters, Rock Falls; and Mona Weitz, Sterling. Spencer Aurand, Dixon, is stage manager and Tracy Hand, Rock Falls, is lighting operator. Aurand and Hand perform in the show, as well.  Sarah Fassig, Dixon, is assistant director, and Andrew Kida, Rochelle, is technical director.

30 Plays in 60 Minutes is our version of the longest running show in Chicago, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, which has run since 1988,” said Hedrick. “This show still plays 50 weekends a year at the Neo-Futurarium, which is at the corner of Foster and Ashland,” said Hedrick.

The Neo-Futurists are a collective of writers, directors, and performers that create theater that is fusion of sport, poetry, and living-newspaper. The Neo-Futurists have grown to become one of the most highly regarded experimental theater companies in the country.

Even the ticket pricing for this production is fun. Tickets are $4 each plus each ticket holder rolls a single six-sided die ($5 - $10, depending on your luck).  Sauk students will be admitted at no charge for the first two Friday night shows on April 15 and April 22. For reservations, call 815/288-5511, ext. 385.