The Marathon Begins: A Visual Diary by Kyle Yearwood (coverage below)
At 8 p.m., Morgan and Towson students entered the Ruth Marder Studio Theatre in the Towson University Center for the Arts building to begin their 24-hour PlaysSlam event. The group of designers, actors, directors, and playwrights didn’t waste any time getting to know each other. After Towson faculty advisor, David White, introduced the group and went through a general layout of the night’s activities, he presented them with their first task: a scavenger hunt.
The rowdy bunch of theatre enthusiasts organized themselves into 10 small groups of two or three, each having at least one Morgan student. After about two minutes of “Hi, my name is…” the groups were given a letter, ranging from A through J, and instructions for the hunt.
With 20 minutes on the clock. The groups had to follow directions given to them in the form of eight riddles and collect their group letter from 10 different check points all over the building, then race back to the studio theatre.
As soon as White yelled “Go!” students stampeded through the halls of the Towson arts building. Sprinting in all directions, students ran up and down stairs, left and right through the halls, and came very close to colliding with each other in the height of the competition.
After about 16 minutes, group C rushed in the studio theatre out of breath and excited at seeing no other groups. White, however, crushed their enthusiasm as he only counted nine of the 10 letters they were supposed to have. Rushing back out of the studio, group C quickly found their missing letter and returned as the winner.
For the next 15 minutes, the remaining nine groups made their way back into the studio. Weary and sweaty from their hunt, the students flopped in the studio chairs to wait for further instructions.
As the last of the groups found their way back, the theater erupted in chatter, laughter, and exhaustion. The crowd of talented students who were only introduced 45 minutes prior to the hunt were interacting as if they’d known each other for years. The scavenger hunt served as the perfect icebreaker.
As the participants finally began to catch their breath, White handed each student a gift bag filled with little trinkets from Morgan and Towson. It was now that the real work began. With 22 hours still left on the clock, it was time to organize the eager group of students into six teams, pick an overall theme of the play, and equip each team with a prop.
The long grueling process of writing six mini plays that will evolve into one cohesive work of theater is no easy task, but like they say in the theater, “the show must go on.”