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Up the Hill Theatre's power play 

Thirty plays in 60 minutes!

click to enlarge Andrew Chandler, Daniel Gervais, Sean Skerry; Ashley Marie Pike, Schoel Strang and Emily Jewer play hard
  • Andrew Chandler, Daniel Gervais, Sean Skerry; Ashley Marie Pike, Schoel Strang and Emily Jewer play hard

If you like your theatre loud, fast and risky, 30 Neo-Futurist Plays from "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind" created by Greg Allen, Written by the Neo-Futurists is a show you won’t want miss (to January 19, The Living Room, 2353 Agricola Street, 8pm. $6 and “a roll of a die”, so, between $7 and $12. Big money, no whammies).

The goal of the evening is for the up-and-coming performance artists of Up the Hill Theatre Productions to present 30 plays in 60 minutes. Lunacy? Maybe. But it’s obviously an idea that makes for entertaining theatre as this show, written by The Neo-Futurists, is Chicago’s longest running production, celebrating its 24th anniversary in late 2013.

The Halifax production is being directed by Bill Wood who says the while similar in structure to sketch comedy, the plays themselves offer a range of emotional experiences. “Some are deeply beautiful and sad. Others will make you laugh. You’ll move from comedy to tragedy. We’ll lift you up only to throw you down.”

Adding to the complicacy for the actors (Andrew Chandler, Daniel Gervais, Emily Jewer, Schoel Strang, Sean Skerry and Ashley Marie Pike, who also leads the Up the Hill collective) is the fact that the audience get to choose the order of the plays.

“The show is over when 60 minutes are up, so we’re really hoping the audience will be pumped up. We don’t have time to lollygag,” says Wood, who also emcees the show. “I expect there will be a lot of yelling and screaming.”

As to whether or not 30-plays-in-60-minutes bar will be met, Wood sounds optimistic. “In our last rehearsal, we actually took 76 minutes, but we’re getting faster. I think it’s possible.”

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