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Published: Monday, 10/14/2013

Owens prepares for its annual 24-hour write, direct, perform 5 plays

Dancer Bianca Marcia is from a previous Owens Theatre Express performance. Dancer Bianca Marcia is from a previous Owens Theatre Express performance.

Drama students at Owens Community College will have under 10 hours Saturday to rehearse and present plays that were written the night before.

The cast, which as of Monday had 20 students signed up, will come in with a costume on Friday. Jeremy Meier, a fine and performing arts professor running the show Saturday, will take a few photos the actors and send it to five different Owens faculty screen writers.

Those screen writers will, through the night, come up with plays to meet the 7 a.m. deadline of finishing. Then, Mr. Meier will organize and prepare the plays for the cast members and directors will bey 9 a.m. Saturday rehearse the plays for a 7:30 p.m. show.

"It is hectic," Mr. Meier said. "I'm usually a problem solver for seven weeks [with regular plays]. It is hard to be a problem solver when you don't know the plays."

The 24-hour Theatre Express play is free and open to the community in the studio located in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts of the Owens campus on Oregon Road in Perrysburg Township. The theater holds 70 people, and Mr. Meier expects standing room only. 

The 20 student-actors likely will be split into four actors per play. Mr. Meier said this overnight event has more actors participate than the usual seven-week commitment and auditions for regular plays.

It is the sixth "Theatre Express" production Owens has put on. Mr. Meier said "they get better at it every year.

"It is unconventional," he said. "But the thing is the show must go on. In a lengthy or conventional show, an actor can get sick and you need to find a replacement. This forces the stress and immediacy that can happen in any production."

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

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