Usually, participating in a theater production is a significant time commitment involving a long rehearsal process, meetings and endless practice. From Tuesday, October 13 through Thursday, October 15, the Center Stage Theater at Merkaz Hamagshimim Hadassah will present "Spontaneous Combustion," an evening of short theatrical performances prepared in just 48 hours.
On Sunday, actors and writers will unite for the 48-hour theatrical challenge. Twelve teams - each with one writer and one to three actors - will arrive at the Merkaz ready to create a 4 to 8 minute play from scratch. In order to ensure that teams do not prepare ahead of time, teams will be given guidelines, such as use of props, at the introductory meeting. At 8 pm, the countdown begins. The work promptly comes to a halt 48 hours later with the first performance.
"Rarely are individuals given the opportunity to participate in a theater production without an immense commitment," explained Rafi Poch, Artistic Director of Center Stage Theater. "The idea is to eliminate the long process of theater, and to get people on stage," Poch said.
"The theme of the production is 'no directors allowed,'" continued Jacob Hellman, a writer and intern at CST. "The writers write, the actors act, and suddenly there is a very cohesive unit."
The 48-hour production gives new actors and writers a chance to try their hand at theater, with few strings attached. "It's a fantastic experience for people to get their feet wet," said Liel Zahavi-Asa, a writer for the show. "It is a one shot commitment, and if they enjoy the experience, they will have the chance to further pursue theatre."
The 48-hour production also attracts professionals, as the act of creating indeed attracts a unique group of participants. According to Zahavi-Asa, "It will be very interesting. People are going to be working with people from very different backgrounds - professionals and amateurs, religious and non-religious, different age group - it is really exciting."
While many 48 and 24-hour challenges have been presented in New York City, Poch said this is the first time such a production will be shown in Israel.
"The end product should be an evening of theater that is really fun, really different," Hellman explained. "It will be like nothing you have ever seen before."
Spontaneous Combustion runs Tuesday through Thursday at 8 pm, Merkaz Hamagshimim Hadassah Dor dor v'dorshav 7A, Jerusalem. Tickets cost NIS 30 and include a free drink and a grab-bag raffle ticket. For more information, call 02-561-9165 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org