18 Hour owns the spotlight

On Sept. 28, students, families, and friends gathered in the PAC to watch the Fall 18 Hour Festival. Hosted by the theater department, students spend only 18 hours writing, acting and directing short plays from scratch. This NPHS program is a favorite of both returning actors and new participants alike.

For Charlotte Weymer, junior, this was her first time as an event coordinator. Involved with theater and dance her whole life, Weymer’s interest led her to join Drama Club freshman year. 

“It sounds so cliché…  but when I was in 7th grade, I listened to the Hamilton soundtrack, and it was so great,” Weymer said. “In 8th grade, I had a drama class at school, and it just reinforced it.” 

The responsibilities of being head coordinator were a step up from participating. “Once you really step into that role, you just don’t know what to expect,” Weymer said. 

Alongside Weymer, Delaney Small, senior, was head stage manager of this year’s festival. “I lead production meetings… go over the cues, and make sure the show is how it’s supposed to be produced,” Small said.

This festival also brought in some new faces to the theater department. For Jolie Mehner, sophomore, this 18 Hour was her return to theater for the first time since childhood. “When I heard of 18 Hour, I remembered the general, incredible atmosphere that surrounded theater, which got me really interested in signing up,” Mehner said. 

Mehner noted that although it was quite busy at times, it was a positive experience. “The entire thing that a play was produced in 18 hours which in nature is chaotic, but I was lucky enough to be put in a group with all of my friends,” Mehner said. “I really enjoyed it.” 

Marilyn Strange, the TheaterTheatre Director, is proud of all of the work that was put in by all participants. “This event could not have gotten off the ground without the hard work and dedication of Charlotte Weymer. Her organization, along with Delaney Small, made the day run smoothly,” Strange said.

The Fall 18 Hour has already passed, but there are many more opportunities to participate in theater events this year. “It’s a really welcoming community,” Weymer said. “You can go to drama club, you can do just one 18 Hour or have a small role in the One Acts play festival, and you’re still involved.”