BWW Reviews: WILL ACT 4 FOOD - Will Act 4 Fun - Will Act 4 Community
Daisy's Madhouse Theatre has done it again. They teamed up with Boise Little Theatre to raise funds for the Idaho Food Bank. Winter is a tough time for the food bank and they get hit hard. One year, in 2009, Amy Nell Smith had the feeling that community theatre is great, but theatre for community could be greater! From that thought and some research, WILL ACT 4 FOOD was born.
WILL ACT 4 FOOD (WA4F) is a wonderful event for participants and audience members alike. I have known about WA4F since it's inception, but have not gone mostly because I missed the notifications or I was already involved in a show the same weekend it took place. I suppose I should talk a bit about what the whole event is. It is an annual event to raise awareness for the need to help the Idaho Food Bank, and it is well worth your time and money.
WILL ACT 4 FOOD is a 24 hour play writing/rehearsing/performing event. On Friday evening at 7 pm all the participants gather and the playwrights (around 8) are assigned the number of actors and three other requirements: a genre (absurd, farce, drama, comedy, adaptation, etc.), a prop (WD-40, yoga workout ball, hubcap, etc.), and a line that has to be incorporated into the script (bonus points if it makes sense). Then the playwrights have until 7am to write a 10 minute play. Some do it in less, but you cannot do it in more: the actors need their scripts. At 7 am the directors are assigned their play and then they draw their actors from the pool. Then the fun begins!
The directors and actors have only until 5 or so to: learn what the story is, block it, and memorize it before they have tech in the theatre on the stage. Oh did I mention, they also costume their show and do make up and gather extra props/furniture as needed. By 7 pm on Saturday night, the audience starts to file into the theatre for a night of fun and discovery. The performances run around 10 minutes and they have one intermission. Then there is a raffle held while the judges debate and discuss the winners of the three possible prizes: Best Use of Prop, Best Use of Line, Audience Choice, and Judges Favorite. Oh, did I forget to mention that it is a judged competition? Oops, there are three judges.
To sum up what WILL ACT 4 FOOD is: actors, directors, stage managers, and playwrights sign up and pay an admission fee to take part in this wonderful event. They do not volunteer to do this rigorous event; they actually pay for the privilege to go through this abuse. The event has been taking place for so many years and many of the participants now have a term for the condition they are in Sunday afterward, "Performance Hangover".
The cast of 'Yellow Brick Road Trip' winner of the Audience Favorite and the Judge's Favorites awards. Photo taken by Paul Budge Photography
This year I was honored to sit in the front row and watch the offerings. The first play was a comedy that was titled "Mama Like", then we were offered a drama called "The Not-Enoughs", the next course featured an absurd play titled "Thin Line", then the one that won the audience favorite and the judges favorite an adaptation called "Yellow Brick Road Trip". We had an intermission to mingle and talk about what happened and then there were three more plays: (Tragedy) "The Bigger the Boulder the Steeper the Hill", (Farce) "The Farce of Nature", and finally (Suspense) "Mike's Play".
This year, Best Use of Prop was awarded to "Mike's Play" (a pair of cowboy boots). The Best Use of Line was awarded to "Farce of Nature" ("This is a test of the emergency broadcast system. This is only a test.) Audience Choice and Judge's Choice both went to "Yellow Brick Road Trip"
Congratulations to all! And to to the Idaho Food Bank, every dollar equals 3 meals and since it's inception WILL ACT 4 FOOD has raised more than $12,000. And with much luck will continue to do so for many years.
All of the participants on the stage for the final bow, for this year at least.