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BWW Blog: Can You Write a Play in a Day?

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The thought of having to create something always intimidates me.

BWW Blog: Can You Write a Play in a Day?

Ten hours. Three teams. One line and one prop. All-Day Theatre Fest tested my creative will-power, my imagination, and in the age of COVID-19, my laptop's battery life. 2020 marked the first time that Allegheny College's S.E.T. (that stands for Student Experimental Theatre) took their annual 24-Hour Theatre Fest digital, complete with a new name and a new performance space-our homes.

Admittedly, as a first-year student, I was hesitant to get involved with events right off the bat. I was still getting used to the idea of college life, with all of its flexibility and free time. The thought of participating in an event like this got the best of my stage fright, and I spent last year's event in the audience. This year, however, was a completely different story. Stuck at home and facing a new semester as a remote student, a couple of well-meaning friends (who also happened to be organizing the event) convinced me to sign up. What's the worst that could happen? In my mind, that's not a rhetorical question.

The thought of having to create something always intimidates me. I know I can do it, the proof is in all of my writing and drawings. Despite this evidence, the voice of doom in the back of my head is constantly telling me that it won't work this time. It's almost as if I cannot wrap my mind around the process of creating. I know that it happens, I know that I was there, but I could never recreate it. If there was any time to take the plunge, it would be over Zoom and in the company of friends.

Once we split off into our small group and our concept was agreed upon, the rest came flooding in naturally. I think that it is easy to forget how valuable conversation is in the creative process. Most of our writing time was not spent putting pen to paper, but actually mulling over and dissecting what it was we wanted to do. Even those of us that shy away from group work (guilty as charged) benefit tremendously from the input of others, the exchange of ideas and energy as different minds come together to form one final product.

Needless to say, the event went off without a hitch, thanks to the tireless efforts of S.E.T. We all got to let our hair down, to write and perform, before the start of what is sure to be a very strange semester. As for me, I was happy to spend a day on Zoom with my friends that are back in Meadville. It's not the same as sipping lattes in the coffee shop together or walking home across uneven brick sidewalks after a long rehearsal, but it's the next-best thing. All-Day Theatre Fest was a reminder that I sorely needed. It reminded me that the only thing preventing me from creating is myself, and that Allegheny-its people and its campus-are my second home.

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