Students race against clock in Lafayette’s fifth annual Pard Play-A-Thon

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Photo by Pierson White for The Lafayette

Three groups of seven students put their acting and writing skills to the test to put together a play in 24 hours.

There may only be 24 hours in the day, but Lafayette’s Alpha Psi Omega Theater Honor Society is making the most of every second. This year’s Pard Play-A-Thon featured three teams of seven students who wrote, directed, staged and performed 10-minute plays all in the course of 24 hours.

The Play-A-Thon took place from Friday, Oct. 14 to Saturday, Oct. 15. It was judged by President Nicole Hurd and Laura Bedser ‘23, president of the Arts Society. While this is the fifth Play-A-Thon at Lafayette, this year’s competition added the twist of requiring each play to include a mandatory setting and line as well as certain props.

“The Collection,” the first play of the evening, featured members of a yacht club viewing the owner’s rock collection with a dark twist. In addition to the setting, this team was tasked with incorporating two maracas, a bike horn and the line “Do you wanna see my rock collection?”

Though these elements were difficult to fit together, they ultimately helped the team dictate the plot.

“It was spontaneous and more challenging than last year because of the added setting,” Thania Hernandez ’25 said of the experience.

Hernandez also noted that because many of her fellow castmates live in arts housing, they heard each other discussing their play all night, which made this event even more memorable.

“Unfinished,” the second performance of the night, creatively implemented their given setting of “the dustiest attic you’ve ever been in” to highlight a writer and all of his stories coming to life in his mind. The entire cast was composed of first-years taking the stage together for the first time.

Despite their limited time together, the group bonded quickly. According to Leonardo Ontiveros ’26, it was easy to work together because everyone shared a passion for theater. Their play included comedy, character development and a heartfelt lesson.

The evening’s final play, entitled “Cranberries At Upper,” asks the question on everyone’s minds: what would happen if zombies invaded Lafayette? In the play, a random group of students who don’t know each other well has to decide who they will sacrifice to the zombies to attempt an escape.

Each of the play’s seven characters represents an undesirable trait. Before the performance, audience members were asked to vote on which of the traits creates the worst person. The result of the vote determined which character was sacrificed to the zombies. Narcissism, the trait embodied by Cormac Hurley ’24 in the character of Milo, received the most votes.

Members of the winning team perform their piece “Cranberries at Upper.” (Photo by Pierson White)

“This was a crazy 24 hours, but nothing makes me happier than being able to put it on stage,” Peter Canevari ’23, one of the cast members of “Cranberries at Upper,” said.

“The fact that [students] can produce such interesting, funny, poignant works in such a short amount of time is so impressive,” President Hurd said of the cast members’ work.

After much deliberation, “Cranberries at Upper” was deemed the winner.

The winning play featured Canevari and Hurley along with Alex Thurtle ‘24, Marisa Carroll ‘25, Nathan Hansford ‘25, Spencer Sakey ‘25 and Matthew White ‘23.

“We weren’t even trying to win,” Thurtle said. “We were just having a good time.”