At 8 a.m. sharp, the actors and directors of the PlaySlam began filing back into the Towson Center for the Arts building. It’s been 12 hours since the start of the event, and now it’s time to bring the works of each playwright to life. After a good night’s rest, the directors came in ready to meet with the writers while the actors began their warm-ups.
Equipped with a cup of coffee, each writer-director duo found themselves a quiet spot in the building to analyze and converse about the scripts. The actors met in the Ruth Marder Theatre Studio to begin their morning exercises which are done to get them loose and ready for a long day of rehearsal and script memorization.
The once calm and quiet Center for the Arts building erupted into chaotic screams, shouts, and chants as the actors succeeded in waking the sleepy building and its inhabitants. All the actors formed a big circle in the middle of the studio theatre and began yelling and screaming randomly at each other.
It was like a scene from a religious revival. Actors were jumping and shouting sporadically. One fell dramatically to the floor just as another leapt into the air. One outgoing actress led the rowdy group in a chant.
“Ooo, I feel so good like I knew I would,” she yelled over the group demanding their attention. For no longer than a split second, the group paused before another actor joined in the chant.
“Ooo, I feel so good like I knew I would,” the chant grew just a little louder.
With all the actors now participating, the Ruth Marder Studio Theatre echoed a roaring, “Ooo, I feel so good like I knew I would!” for the third time.
Over and over the group of 23 actors yelled this chant. Some jumped up and down, others spun around, and one even did a little shimmy as they threw themselves into the moment.
To the outsider, these outbursts may seem very odd, but every chant, scream, and jerk of the torso served a purpose. As the actors entered the arts building that morning, the sluggish sleepy energy left over from a night of hard work still lingered in the air. The actors’ arrival brought a new and refreshing energy to the PlaySlam event.
After their chanting was over, the actors came in for a huddle and put in a hand. The boisterous young actress who led the chant counted off a “0ne…two…three…” and a loud “PlaySlam” ended the morning the warm up.
With 11 hours still left, the actors ate a quick breakfast and began their rehearsals.