24-Hour Theatre returns to Winona State


Mohammed Islam

Wenonah Players hosted 24 HOUR THEATRE in Performing Arts Centre, on Saturday, Feb. 29. In this event, all Winona State students were encouraged to volunteer as participants to write, act and run tech for the performances, which began and ended in the Dorothy B. Magnus Theatre of the Dufresne Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Hannah Hippensteel, Features Reporter

24-Hour Theatre returned to Winona State University on Saturday, Feb. 29th.

In this event, all Winona State students were encouraged to volunteer as participants to write, act and run tech for the performances, which began and ended in the Dorothy B. Magnus Theatre of the Dufresne Performing Arts Center (PAC).

The event began on Friday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. where everyone involved had a meeting about initial ideas for the performances.

From this meeting came the understanding that 24 hours from then, each roughly 10-minute play would be performed for the Winona community.

According to Courtney L’Heureux, one of the shows’ three directors, the night was then broken into auditions, playwriting and casting for each performance.

This was L’Heureux’s second year participating in the 24-Hour theatre, but she described this time as being “kind of an accident.”

“I’d done the more technical side of this before, but I wanted to be a director so I could be more involved with the processes,” L’Heureux said.

She also expressed that this event is a chance for students, especially ones in the Theatre and Dance (THAD) department, to showcase what they had been taught.

Mohammed Islam
The actors, Sal Tabaka(bottom), Kaitlyn Johnson(left) and Jayde Grass (right) rehearsals in the Dorothy B. Magnus Theatre after going through initial auditioning.

After about an hour of auditions and finished plays at midnight, the next step in the process was to figure out lights, costumes, and the physical set for rehearsals.

For this element, Tristen Weldon, a senior theatre major, spearheaded the tasks as the technical director alongside his assistants, Tyler Biggerstaff and Cameron Lorntson.

Weldon came into Winona State as a declared theatre major and has been involved with the department since then.

In his position, Weldon has many roles.

“I work with a lot of the production’s tech, carpentry, lights and music. Anything that lives in the PAC is what we help with,” Weldon said.

He said he enjoys being a part of the productions because of the community brought by the THAD department.

Mohammed Islam
A member of the crew, Breanna Bahr uses the miter saw in the Dorothy B. Magnus Theatre workshop, adjusting sizes of the blocks which will be used to prepare the stage for the performance.

“It’s really cool to see a production start at conception and go all the way to creating, from an on-paper idea to being three-dimensional,” Weldon said.

As the technical director for the department, Weldon also said he wanted to express his gratitude to everyone involved, his professors, the opportunities he’s been given and especially Rachel Maron, the production manager, who he described as the “backbone of the whole production.” Maron is also the president of Wenonah Players, Winona State’s on-campus theatre club, who were the sponsors for the event.

The performance began at 7 p.m. Saturday, 24 hours from when the creating of the plays started.

The first play of the night was called ‘Averagers: Fin.’

The play opened with Julia Burk as Captain Antarctica and Nicholas Kendall as Cotton Man.

According to playwrite Noah Nelson, the play was a spoof from the Avengers: Endgame movie, which is why the duo called themselves the Averagers.

Cotton Man revealed that, much like in Avengers, they had to gather five objects to defeat Snapper, which was this play’s take on the villain of Thanos.

Humor in this part lie within what the items were: a copy of The Crucible by Arthur Miller, a half-eaten tortilla chip with a hint of lime, a baby stegosaurus, a tube of lip balm shaped like Shakespeare and a $5 Walmart gift card with a baby fox wearing sunglasses on it.

Once the two gathered all of the items, with some obstacles, they were able to wage the final battle against Snapper.

Captain Antarctica, Cotton Man and Snapper had a final battle which resulted in a tongue-in-cheek ending line recited by Snapper, played by Mae Mironer.

“I think I just snapped,” Mironer said, which was a last tie-in to Endgame.

Nelson was initially supposed to be an actor, but decided to step in for a friend and bring his writing experience to the event. This also was not Nelson’s first time participating in 24-hour theatre, but he did have a message for those who attended the show.

“I hope everyone who participated gained a better appreciation for the time and effort it takes to put on a quality play. As for people who attended, I just hope they had some good laughs,” Nelson said.

The second play, titled ‘Stress Level Midnight,’ featured a concept familiar to many students: a group project.

In this play, the group of four scrambles to turn a presentation in to the D2L dropbox before it closes at midnight.

The play beings with a frantic realization that group member Tom, played by Sal Tabaka, had put in too much information about Eisenhower for their Cold War presentation.

This resulted in a panic, which was led by Jenny, who was played by Hannah Beumer, as she tried to keep everyone else in check and finish the assignment, especially the bickering boyfriend-girlfriend duo of Hazel and Logan.

Tom, on the other hand, was tasked with staying out of everyone’s way after the group tries to right his mistake.

He instead spent the time rolling from a ‘special brownie’ he ate before attending the study group and wearing the gauntlets.

Miraculously, the group turned the presentation in as they all worked to research Nixon instead of Eisenhower, only to realize that their presentation was not late because Tom had written the wrong due date and forgot to factor in Leap Day.

Mohammed Islam
Julia Bark(left) plays Captain America and Nicholas Kendall(right) plays Cotton Man in the first play of the night, called “Averagers: Fin.

The final performance of the night was called ‘The Play Gets Interrupted.’

Oswald and Azalea were lovers who just found out Oswald had been drafted into war. But instead of being able to perform, they’re faced with multiple distractions.

First, PJ, played by Jayde Grass, absentmindedly walked onto the stage and ate a snack, where he was then moved to the audience.

PJ was quickly joined by the character Late Arrival, played by Mae Mironer, who weaved throughout the audience seats noisily and caused a commotion.

As Oswald and Azalea got more exasperated, Late Arrival made an impassioned speech about how the beauty of theatre is that nothing goes as planned, which is followed by PJ saying, “the show must go wrong,” which elicited a laugh.

Just as Oswald and Azalea were about to get back into character and finish the last scene, the lights went black and the show was over.

After final bows and applause from the audience, Rachel Maron was given time to reflect on her first experience with the 24-hour theatre.

“This was a great opportunity for THAD students to put learned skills to the test and for students watching and creating to experience the fun and joy in theatre,” Maron said.


The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of Winona State University, the Minnesota State Colleges and University system, or the Winona State University student body.