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Hampton play staged with only 10-hour prep time

| Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, 2:00 p.m.

Crash Course Theatre Fest at Hampton High School on Feb. 10 will show what happens when students are tasked with putting together a play in just about 10 hours to perform in front of an audience that evening.

The fundraiser benefiting the Hampton High School Theatre Department will feature eight short plays which require its participating students to cast, direct, assemble and learn their lines in the short timeframe, according to Lilli Horvat, a senior who was a lead organizer of the event.

She said the students will begin preparing for the challenge at 9 a.m. with plays starting about 7 p.m.

Those involved in the theatre fest hail from the Talbot Players, drama club, and school acting classes. And in between plays, there will be musical interludes, including one from this year's spring musical, “Nice work if you can get it.”

“We thought that it would be a really cool opportunity for our students to take on something like this. This way, students can get the amazing experiences that come with theatre without sacrificing what they normally do for our program. About half of the actors in CCTF aren't even actors in the play or musical, rather they are members of stage crew, orchestra or an acting class,” she said.

The event is from 6:30 to 10 p.m. in the high school cafeteria and will feature refreshments, desserts and a raffle for 15-themed baskets. These winners will be announced the last night of the spring musical April 21.

Horvat, who is also student director for the spring musical, said she and her friend, Annabelle Leibering, a fellow theater student at Hampton, got the idea after speaking with a theater director from Shaler Area School District which held a similar event. To make it unique to Hampton, they added the refreshments, raffles and musical interludes.

Having the actors learn their lines so quickly will probably be the biggest challenge of this night, said Horvat.

“All of the plays are going to be performed live so they don't really have the luxury of ‘another take' and if they mess up on stage, all of the other actors will have to improvise to get them back on track,” said Horvat, who lives in Hampton.

She said while this will be difficult, it should also be lots of fun. And it gives the audience a chance to see all the talent of the musical department in a new and exciting way.

Leibering, who is student artistic director and lead makeup designer for “Nice work if you can get it,” is also excited about the upcoming event.

“It is a really unique opportunity to see completely student-produced shows from start to finish without the months of commitment that it takes to put on the annual play or musical,” said Leibering, a senior from Allison Park.

Tickets for the Crash Course Theater Fest cost $8 for adults and $5 for students and can be bought at the door.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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