At approximately 8:17 pm on Friday, October 14, a group of 10 Dartmouth students met together and embarked on the 24-hour playwriting experience that is Wired! Eight of those students then stayed up all night long writing wonderful, short plays based on a prompt.
This piece sheds light on the work of the other two people.
Ariel Klein ’17 and I (Naomi Lazar ’17) are the producers of Wired!, a daunting job that requires organization, creativity and many, many snacks.
While most of our participants are involved for less than 24 hours, the production process starts a few weeks earlier. Being the producers is arduous but always rewarding when we see the shows that were created and performed because of our hard work. Over the weekend, we had one such successful run. If you missed it, look out for Wired! in 2017!
Below are two timelines we follow in order to have a successful show:
A Producer Checklist Before October 14, the day before the show
- Apply for the performance space.
For this performance, we applied for the PlaySpace performance slot that the theater department provides each term for theater majors. For those who are not theater majors, the theater department also has a YourSpace performance slot each term as well.
- Apply for funding: Budgeting
Although the performance itself is low-budget, and we have access to the theater department’s props, there are still costs involved . To successfully apply for funding, it is essential to have foresight and try to estimate all of your purchasing needs. For this production, our greatest cost is food. Because this is such an energy-consuming experience for a day, it is important to feed our artists and make the whole writing and rehearsal process enjoyable.
In the weeks before the show date, Ariel and I have three equally important outreach steps that are essential to a successful show:
- Finding Writers (two weeks prior to the show)
- Finding Actors (one week prior to the show)
- Bringing in an Audience (week of the show)
Each of these require different outreach techniques, reaching out to various target audiences, to bring together everyone we need.
- Purchasing Food
The day before the performance, we need to buy all of the snacks required for our writers to stay fueled to write all night.
- Coming up with the Prompt for the writers
A Producer Timeline: How we spend our 24 hours
8 pm: Set up personal bags for writing teams with their supplies for the night.
8:15 pm: Meet with writers, assign and explain the prompts
8:50 pm-Saturday 8 am: On-Call for writers
8-9:30 am: Get breakfast supplies ready for the writers and actors. Print scripts that we have received and make copies as needed for the plays.
9:30-10 am: Get actors ready for auditioning for parts in the plays.
10 am-12 pm: Organize auditions, put in lunch orders for all involved and lead the writers in casting the shows. This part takes a long time because often different plays want the same actors, and we have to make sure our actors have enough time during the day to learn and rehearse their roles.
12-6:30 pm: Divide our rehearsal spaces between shows and make sure all actors and writers know where they need to be at every time. During this time we also need to organize lunch, write and print the programs for the event, and get all of the props we need from props storage.
6:30-7:15 pm: Get all of our casts together and run the blocking of the shows so that we are ready for performance time.
8 pm: Showtime.
Snapshots of the entries to Wired! 2016, courtesy of the producers