Does a 24 Hour Play last 24 hours?
No! A common misconception and one that puts the fear of God into audiences. The whole process of casting, writing, rehearsing and performing the play takes 24 hours. The actual plays themselves should be between 8-12 minutes long – so if you have 6 plays in total, the show should last around an hour.
How many actors, writers, directors and producers do I need to do a 24 Hour Play? It varies from show to show, but generally we advise no more than 6 writers and 6 directors per show and around 3-4 actors per writer (so 6 writers would mean between 18-24 actors). With producers, it depends on how little sleep you think you can survive on, but we recommend a lead producer to plan the whole event and some assistants to help manage the overnight writers’ process and tech. You'll also need someone who can operate lights/sound and manage the stage.
What happens if the writers get writers’ block and can’t create a play?
There have been some tight calls over the years, with plays being written in the final hour of the overnight process. But plays have ALWAYS got written. In fact, most writers find that The 24 Hour process is the ultimate antidote to writers’ block.
What happens if an actor forgets a line?
This has happened a fair few times and it’s totally part of the experience. Remember – the audience know the crazy process you’ve been going through to get these plays on and want to experience the danger with you. As Kevin Spacey remarked during The 24 Hour Plays at The Old Vic one year, ‘They want a little blood on the floor.” We always find that actors’ ability to improvise in these situations surprises everyone – including themselves. And that’s the magic of taking part.
How long does each play get to tech?
15-20 minutes maximum. The plays that do best in this process are where the writers and directors take this into consideration and keep it simple, with a minimum number of cues.