13 Jun 2012

24 Hour Plays Shortlisted for Irish Fundraising Award 2012

Last week, we heard the great news that the 24 Hour Plays, which was presented in February 2012 as a fundraiser for Dublin Youth Theatre, has been shortlisted for the Best Event Award at the Irish Fundraising Awards, which will be announced on 20th June.

This award recognises events that 'demonstrate the best use of resources, partners, volunteers and team effort to ensure optimum fundraising return.’ It’s not hard to see why the 24 Hour Plays was shortlisted, given the outpouring of generosity and support that we received from our colleagues and those who work to support the arts in Dublin. The event would not have been as successful without their help.

Over a weekend in February, the 24 Hour Plays brought together over 50 theatre artists, designers, technicians, and producers for one very special occasion. Everyone worked on a voluntary basis, giving graciously and generously of their time, energy and considerable talent to pull off a massive achievement: creating six short plays over 24 hours before presenting them in front of a full, and very lively, house at Project Arts Centre.

The nature of the project requires commitment and collaboration on a grand scale. This was reflected through our artistic and technical teams who worked tirelessly and with great humor to bring the work from page to stage under extreme pressure.

The impact of collaboration was highlighted further through the phenomenal outpouring of good will and support for Dublin Youth Theatre. We asked, and the arts community provided, with the generosity of our participants matched by that of our sponsors and partners.

Project Arts Centre was our first port of call. Synonymous with exciting, innovative theatre in Dublin, Project was an obvious choice for hosting the event. We gratefully availed of free access to the Project Cube and Space Upstairs, as well as the expertise of their technical, marketing, publicity and box office staff. The US Embassy in Dublin covered the cost of international flights for our New York producers under their cultural grant scheme. Dublin City Council Arts Office responded to a Twitter-call for accommodation, offering the free use of St Patrick’s Lodge in the grounds of St Patrick’s Cathedral. The Arts Office also provided The LAB facilities, at no charge, for rehearsals over the weekend. The offices of Second Age Theatre Company hosted the many pre-production meetings and the overnight writing session, as well as satisfying our seemingly endless paper requirements.  Food and coffee were provided by Skinflint and Two Spots Dublin Coffee Roasters refueling all participants throughout the production.

Our main partners are the 24 Hour Company, New York, who founded the event and have presented the 24 Hour Plays on and off-Broadway, around the US and internationally since the mid-1990s. We extend our thanks, once more, to Philip Naudé and Kelcie Beene who travelled to Ireland to help facilitate the show, and we look forward to welcoming them back for many years to come.

In name-checking our supporters, we can’t forget our audience. Over 200 people joined us at the Space Upstairs for this extra-special, one-night-only event. Kevin Spacey once remarked about the 24 Hour Plays at the Old Vic that audiences ‘want a little blood on the floor’ as the actors, buzzing with terror, nervous exhaustion and adrenaline, attempt to stay off-book. The event had a couple of those magical moments, our actors supported by waves of encouragement and empathy rolling towards the stage. Retelling the stories lose their effect: you simply had to be there.

Plans to recreate this magic for the 2nd annual 24 Hour Plays are already underway. Emails are in the transatlantic ether; Skype-meetings scheduled; names, times and dates tentatively penciled into diaries. We’re already floating ideas on how to make the 2013 event bigger and better, to capitalise on our experience, and firmly establish the DYT fundraiser in the Irish theatre calendar. We plan to build on our existing relationships with artists and crew, develop exciting new opportunities for our partners and enhance the experience for our audience. Over the coming months, we look forward to revealing our new artistic team and sharing the plans for this very special event with you.

Join us next time!

On behalf of everyone at the 24 Hour Plays: Dublin
Eva Scanlan


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