Project role: Actor / Host
Location: Kansas City, MO
No Sleep November is an annual tradition at The Living Room Theatre. It's a 24 hour play writing event and it goes like so: a handful of playwrights are featured. Each one is grouped with a few actors and a production assistant through a series of draft picks and challenges. Each is also issued a few elements that must be incorporated into their work: a prop, a line of dialogue, and a costume piece. 24 hours later, a brand new 10 minute play from each writer will be performed for the public in a one-time-only showcase.
It's a play festival meets a lock-in, and it's delirious fun. The expansive four floor building that comprises TLR provides housing for a bustling mob of 35+ artists and administrators to develop, rehearse, design, and tech their new works. Also sleep, occasionally, though that's far from guaranteed.
The results of this venture are often hilarious, often touching, and always innovative. The immediacy and live-wire sensibility of the show gives both the artists and the audience a sense of being plugged into something unique and exciting.
As I was already in KC to work on our new musical Milking Christmas, I was excited to get another chance to hop into NSN. This was my third time as an actor for the event and second time as host. I was also a writer one year, but I prefer not to talk about that, as it broke my entire brain. This time around, Rusty and I had fun coming up with new drafting techniques, and I got to play one of my wheel-house characters (the dry and baffled straight man) in a funny, visceral piece by the one and only Ron Simonian, who is maybe the most prolific writer in KC. Big thanks to everyone involved - I think this was the best year yet!
If you live in KC, be sure to check out the next No Sleep November at The Living Room Theatre. It's a night you'll never forget - and a little secret you get to be in on.