The great thing about 30 plays in 60 minutes is the laugh ratio.
When did you last laugh 10 times in a minute? How about 15 or 20 or 30 times?
Chaparral High School Theater is producing the ideal cure for the stress of closing out a semester and merging into the holidays.
The show, “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind,” is an interactive play in which the audience chooses the order of 30 back-to-back, roughly 2-minute scenes.
Shows are set at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday – December 8 and 9 at Chaparral High School.
The new school’s theater department is debuting its black box theater, a small, open venue ideal for intimate productions.
They opened with a dress rehearsal after school Wednesday for school faculty.
There was a lot of laughter.
You know you’re in for a unique theater experience when you get a nametag with a made-up name and a menu.
Yes, it’s an actual menu.
During the production, theater directors Chad Moore and Samantha Dunaway guide the audience in choosing from the menu which play they want to see.
You can shout out the name or the number.
The director in charge pulls the chosen number from a laundry line of paper numbered from 1 to 30.
A timer is visible overhead to show how the actors are progressing toward their 60-minute limit.
If they fail to finish in time, there is punishment – something that is certain to be humorous if it happens.
The short plays bear entertaining titles, some more descriptive than others.
Many contain an element of audience participation.
No. 1, “30-Second Tag,” is what it sounds like, as much a game as a play.
No. 18, “Blind Date,” is as much about visual impairment as it is about an awkward social interaction.
No. 9, “German 101,” is probably the shortest, one word repeated over and over.
No. 27, “Déjà Vu,” delivers what it claims.
No. 25, “Three-Year-Old Interview,” is especially humorous for parents of young children or pre-kindergarten teachers.
No. 28, may be the most descriptive of all – “What it Sounds Like When Five Ordinary People Push Five Ordinary Objects With Five Other Ordinary Objects From One Side of the Stage to the Other and Then Hit Them Three Times Any Way They Wish.”
“It’s one of those plays kids can take hold of, and there’s no literary merit, there’s no preparation for contest, it’s just fun,” said Moore.
Chaparral Theater recently performed “High School Musical,” and will dive into one-act play competition next. The current production serves as a break in the middle.
Cast members split the scenes into two groups of 15, allowing for separate rehearsals that helped busy students coordinate with their other extra-curricular activities.
The faculty night proved a huge success.
“Kids were very happy and excited,” said Moore. “That was their first time with an audience, and as you could see, they needed to practice with an audience.”
Audience members also raved their approval, urging their colleagues and students to take in one of the shows Thursday or Friday.