For the fifth time in as many years, four teams of local writers, directors, and actors will spend 24 straight hours creating four short original plays for performance at the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council. The show begins at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 26, and tickets are $15 (available at the door).
Started in the fall of 2006 by Eric Caldwell, then Juneau Douglas Little Theatre president, the 24-Hour Miracle borrows its concept from the Anchorage-based Alaska Overnighters. Here’s how it works: a theme or topic is chosen at random (literally out of a hat) and announced at 8 p.m. on Friday night; writers spend the next 12 hours writing, delivering scripts to the director and actors at 8 a.m. the next morning; directors and actors then rehearse for 12 hours; curtain rises at 8 p.m. on Saturday night.
Since its debut five years ago, the 24-Hour Miracle has grown into JDLT’s signature annual event. In 2008, local writer and current JDLT president Geoff Kirsch took over as producer (in addition to writing for it, and, once—possibly again this year—running the lights and soundboard). He reprises both roles this year, producing for the third time, writing for the fourth. “Intelligent Deisgn,” the play he wrote for the 2007 24-Hour Miracle—about two archangels pitching G-d on Day Six creation (“we call it: man”)—appeared at last year’s Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez.
Joining him as writers: 2008 Miracle writer Amy Taylor, Capital City Weekly staff writer Richard Radford, and two-time Juneau Playwright Project winner Erik Boraas. Directing: Eric Caldwell, Dawn Kolden, Heather Paige, and Mike Levine. Actors run a wide range of ages, talent, and experience—anyone can sign up to act, right up to the theme announcement on Friday night (all JDLT asks is that you show up Saturday morning).
The 24-Hour Miracle brings together numerous artists from several local performance groups including Perseverance Theatre, Theatre in the Rough, Juneau Douglas Little Theatre, Juneau Underground Motion Picture (JUMP) Society, Poetry Omnibus, Morally Improv-erished, and Li’l Buoy Physical Theatre. In 2009, KTOO joined that list, providing not only one of the writers, but filming and cutting a video piece about the 2009 production. The 2010 24-Hour Miracle also coincided with the national 24-Hour Comics Day—local Juneau comic artists produced their work as the four writer/director/actor teams produced their plays. For 2011, Kirsch courted the Capital City Weekly, as well as high school theater students.
Juneau Douglas Little Theatre is a non-profit community theater organization founded in 1961, receiving 501(c)(3) status in 1965. It’s current mission: to create original theatrical art that stimulated dialogue within the community as well as to develop artists and audiences for the performing arts. Learn more at www.jdlittletheatre.org.