IT was all producer Kylie Delre's idea, and "it's a leap of faith for everyone," she says. Potential audience member, she's looking right at you.
This Saturday night, the Eclectic Theater Company presents another of its irregular Theatricapaloozas, an evening of 10 brief, one-act plays brought to fruition under nail-biting circumstances. Like a stomach virus, all of it -- the writing, casting, directing and producing -- is wrung out in one relentless 24-hour period. In the past, such efforts have resulted in puppetry and corpses. This year, there's just no telling.
At 8 p.m. Friday, 10 writers will be presented with one overarching theme -- ideas floated around include the four elements, traveling abroad and happy holidays -- accompanied by a line of randomly composed dialogue. Actors and directors come on board the next morning, meaning scribes receive no advance knowledge about their casts beyond gender and age ranges, a particular wrinkle the Eclectic incorporated to up the entertainment factor. "You could have someone totally opposite to whom the writer imagined for the part actually playing it," says actor/writer/co-producer Kerr Lordygan, "which I just think is funny."
Delre pitched the idea to her colleagues after participating in similar productions around New York and L.A. Nationally, a small movement seems to be afoot, ever since a group of New York artists began "The A Train Plays" -- mini-musicals completed during round-trip subway rides the length of Manhattan -- in 2003. A smattering of L.A. companies have experimented with the concept (such as next Monday's "Fast and Loose" at Sacred Fools Theater), while Suzan-Lori Parks pioneered and popularized a high-brow approach with her "365 Days/365 Plays."