Over the last weekend at the Institute of Mental Health, TheatreWorks held their 18th edition of the 24-Hour Playwriting Competition from 6 to 7 June 2015. Our ambassador, Lyn Tay, reflects on her own volunteering experience during the competition. Read on as she shares her observations and insights for the competition.
The 24-hour Playwriting Competition is a platform for aspiring playwrights to exhibit their creativity and train their speed and stamina as they come up with a script within 24 hours. A total of five unique stimuli that were revealed periodically throughout the 24-hour competition period must be incorporated into their plays in the given sequence. The addition of the stimuli was a challenge to most participants, with the very last stimulus given just hours before the 4pm deadline on 7th of June!
This year, the competition was held within the grounds of the Institute of Mental Health. The tranquil environment offers new ideas and inspiration for writers to possibly come up with interesting and refreshing storyline. Although it was a full-fledged competition, many participants shared that they came not for the prize, but more for the experience and fun of the it. The participants, who vary from 15 to 40 years of age, were able to meet and mingle with like-minded individuals as they forge close friendships and leave the competition with new-found memories. The colourful and contrasting personalities of various participants seemed to revive the declining energetic atmosphere over the timespan of 24hours.
As a volunteer, the 24-Hour Playwriting Competition offered a different experience for us volunteers to learn and take away. I met many interesting people from all walks of life – a SEA game athlete who came purely for the fun of it, close friends who signed up together, one participant who came by the collection table every 3-5 minutes to check on his script! People were also walking around staring blankly into space, with another girl doodling a bunch on her own feet (maybe trying to take a break from her laptop screen). As I strolled around the holding area, one particular guy caught my eye as he crouched over at the edge of the koi pond with a frown, perhaps experiencing a writer’s block or maybe it’s the lack of sleep – I don’t know for sure.
On the other hand, Becca D’ Bus aka the Game Master, was definitely a sight to see! For every new stimuli, she would change into a different outfit to compliment her grand appearance at the Glass Atrium. Turns out, four out of five stimuli were all devised by Becca, even the TheatreWorks team did not know of them before the BIG REVEAL (seems like this surprising element was not only limited to participants themselves)!
Overall, the 24 hour Playwriting Competition was an enriching and exciting volunteering experience for me! It was definitely rewarding to see both budding and aspiring playwrights putting themselves through the challenge of writing a play within the given 24 Hours!
Do stay tuned to our blog for another recount of the competition by participant Wei Qi, who is also one of our active TheatreWorks’ ambassadors!