Amy Shephard in OFT's If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

by Molly Gilmore for OLY ARTS

Overnight theater festivals—for which playwrights, directors and actors create, put on and close a show in a single weekend—are popping up all over.

This weekend, theater at light speed gets a twist when Northwest Playwrights Alliance (NPA) and Olympia Family Theater (OFT) team up to create children’s theater.

“I think this is the first family 48-hour theater festival,” said Bryan Willis of Olympia, the NPA’s playwright in residence and one of the playwrights who’ll write a short play for the festival.

Jen Ryle, OFT’s artistic director, will give six playwrights cast lists and a prompt on Friday, Nov. 4. Scripts for the 10-minute-long plays are due Saturday morning, when directors and actors gather to rehearse for that evening’s opening-night performances.

Ryle came up with the idea. “We have some originals in our season, and I have more people interested in writing original plays for us, so I thought, ‘What if we do one of those festivals that’s all about original plays?’” she said.

Participating playwrights include three who have shows coming up later this season at the theater: Kate Ayers, whose adaptation of Alice in Wonderland opens March 17; and Andy Gordon and Amy Shephard, who co-wrote Fishnapped, premiering May 12.

Directors include Kathy Dorgan, Elizabeth Lord and Ted Ryle. Among the better-known actors are Mark Alford, Christian Carvajal (managing editor of OLY ARTS), Heather Christopher, Scott Douglas, Brian Hatcher, Ryan Holmberg and Tom Sanders.

What: Double Shot theater festival

Where: Olympia Family Theater,
612 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia

When: 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5;
2 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6

How much: $10

Get tickets: 360-570-1638 | OFT