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SAU Theatre program includes special Play-in-a-Day Project

Patrick Doyle and Regina Drake-Parguey in "Great Things Come From Small Beginnigns"

Laurinburg, NC -The St. Andrews University Theatre had a busy 2013-2014 season. In addition to two full-scale productions, the program brought back the Play-in-a-Day Project in March.

“Writers, actors and directors are gathered together and within a 24 hour window the groups must write, direct and perform a short 10-15 minute production,” said Chris Wood, project director for St. Andrews. “It is challenging but a lot of fun and a great experience.”

For the busy student, this project offers an opportunity to feed the creative spirit.

“I love all things theatre related and I didn’t have the opportunity to participate in the major production this semester due to bagpipe obligations,” said Regina Drake-Parguey, president of the student theatre group.

Junior Patrick Doyle, agrees, “I felt it would be a good way to get involved in the drama program despite my extremely busy schedule and numerous responsibilities that prevent me from being in a play that requires a large time commitment.”

Anthony Kubiak, and Steven Dennis joined Drake-Parguey and Doyle to perform Great Things Come From Small Beginnings, written by Hannah Hardy. The production also included Finnley the goldfish in a central role.

"The play that Hannah [Hardy] wrote for us was about a priest and a dead goldfish,” said Drake-Parguey, who also directed. “A husband and wife are so busy fighting over the simplest and least important things that they begin to neglect their son, even to the point where they are yelling at each other over the death of their son’s pet fish.”

There are many challenges that go along with creating a successful production in 24 hours, according to the cast.

“Memorization has always been a struggle for me so my lines were difficult,” Doyle said. “ I think I may have ad-libbed some parts in the final run.”

Drake-Parguey agrees, “When you think about all that goes into creating a successful production, you need props and lines memorized and costumes designed and so much of this take so much time, to do a play in 24 hours is really quite miraculous.”

The production took place March 22.

"The best part of the project was definitely the reveal to the audience,” Drake-Parguey said.  “It’s the finalization, the cherry on top, for the actors, the director and everybody who helped, especially the writer, to get to see the audience’s reaction to what we created.”

Doyle agreed, “I enjoyed the entire experience of bringing a play to life in such a short time period.”

From the critical eye of Wood, the production made the grade.

“The group we had worked well together and I believe the project, all-in-all, was a success,” said Wood.


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