Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congrats on the launch of 25 Plays Per Hour in this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the premise of this collection of short plays?
Jenn Scuderi Crafts: 25 Plays Per Hour is just that - 25 teeny tiny plays in an hour! They are all original pieces written specifically for this production. The joy of 25PPH is that you can never get bored - wait 2 minutes and there's a brand new play. The only parameters the writers had to abide by was that it needed to be a full play with a beginning, middle, and end, not a one-joke sketch. The pieces range from absurd comedy to poignant dramas. There's even a musical!
BD: As the producer of the show (through Theatre Unleashed), what can you share with us about the creative process of working with the cast and crew to bring this production to life, especially in light of the number of individuals and content involved?
JSC: We were lucky enough to have two brilliant directors, Corey Lynn Howe and Travis Joe Dixon, to not only help bring each piece to life, but also to set up the order of the plays to take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster ride. The cast is made up of TU veterans who are all there purely for the joy of putting on a show together - and it's that joy that drives the whole production.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that the overarching story behind 25 Plays Per Hour will connect with and impact audiences?
JSC: What's so great about 25PPH is that the content comes from so many various and diverse writers - women, age diversity, trans voices, etc. There is certainly something for everyone! Also, we have not done this show for 8 years, and I feel that this group of writers and actors represents a different age group than we used to. Many in the cast and creative team are over 40, and I feel that the topics this year, touching on such things as abortion, religion, relationships, politics and aging parents, represent things we relate to differently than we did when we were in our 20s. There's also definitely a show just straight up about boogers, so you know, it's not all serious!
BD: What makes the Hollywood Fringe Festival an ideal venue for this production?
JSC: I have always felt 25PPH is the perfect Fringe show. It's fast paced, self-contained into an hour, gives lots of writers a chance to highlight their work, and it's always an audience favorite. Plus, this year at Studio/Stage with its cyc wall and projector, we've added an element I've always wanted in 25PPH - a projected real-time countdown clock between each show. So, the audience gets to feel the same adrenaline we do as we try to "beat the clock" and get all the shows into the hour.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects that you would care to share with our readers?
JSC: Right now, Theatre Unleashed is mainly focusing on Fringe and building back after 2 years dark. But stay tuned - we may have some surprises during the holidays this year, well see!
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about and purchase tickets for 25 Plays Per Hour?
JSC: We have other shows throughout the Fringe. Get tickets here.