Play in a Day Returns for First Time Since Pandemic

In the Mermaid Players’ first in-person “Play in a Day” event since before the COVID-19 pandemic, students wrote, cast, directed, costumed, set designed and acted in several new works in the span of 24 hours. 

The result was four short, comical plays: “MuRdER mYstEry” written and directed by Dylan Yang, “Pizza Date” written and directed by Sidney Valdez and co-directed by Maya Valdez, “Hospital Scene” written and directed by Hope Stollsteimer and “Adventure in Monster Land” written and directed by Davis Langhoff. 

On Saturday, every seat in the Cubiculo was full for the performances. Hadley D’Esopo ‘23 said, “This was our first time doing it since my freshman year. I thought it went smoothly, compared to my freshman year. [The show] freshman year was hectic and chaotic, and it’s a hectic and chaotic event. It’s 24 hours in the Cube, running around.” D’Esopo explained that play in a day was much more organized than her freshman year, thanks to Carmen Rafalli ‘25, who organized the event, and the directors. 

As tricky as writing a play is in a day already is, writers are further required to include a unique line and prop. This year’s show featured the line “I’ve fought worse monsters than this for years,” and a yellow lantern as the prop. 

Sky DiGregorio ‘24, who was on the planning committee and worked on tech crew, explained that writers often have an outline or rough draft before the challenge line and prop are announced. So, most plays are not fully written in a day, but the shows are rehearsed and performed within 12 hours. 

Actor Kellen Hansen ‘25 said, “I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d seen some of the videos when they tried to do “Play in a Day” during COVID, and they’re funny, but whether it was going to be the most fulfilling experience or worth the entire day, wasn’t entirely clear.” Hansen said for the day, he got up at nine, went to auditions, was happily cast as the Narrator in “MuRdER mYstEry,” spent the whole day rehearsing and finally had a rushed technical run before the show. 

If you missed Play in a Day, upcoming events hosted by Mermaid Players include a popcorn party, lab shows, Cabaret, an escape room, and a murder mystery party.