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Jefferson High School to hold world premiere 24-hour one-act play festival

Theater professionals Sara Chipman, Alex Shockley, Caleb Fortune and Mackenzie Webb.

Forty theater students from Jefferson High School in Alexandria will write, cast, rehearse and perform six original 10-minute plays across Friday and Saturday, August 23-24 in their first 24-hour one-act festival, PROJECT 1440. Two performances will be Saturday at 7 and 8:30 p.m. in JHS' Discovery Auditorium.

Tickets cost $5 for adults and $3 for students, with all proceeds benefitting JHS Theatre. General admission is available at the door.

Advisor Jessica Chipman brought the idea to senior producer Tyler Carlson last winter. They researched current 24-hour play festival models and created their own model that would pair with JHS Theatre's educational philosophy.

At 7 p.m. Friday, the student actors will meet with student directors Spencer Vogel, Emma Lawrence, Madison Nowling-Kjellberg, Tori Long, Jennie Eng, Miranda Novak and professional writing mentors.

From there, the directors will cast their shows without knowing what the plays will be about. Student writers will help shape the storylines of the 10-minute plays before leaving for the evening.

Adult writers will work through the night until 6 a.m. Saturday. At 7 a.m., directors, actors and technicians will meet, read scripts for the first time and begin rehearsing.

Four theater professionals from around the Midwest, Alex Shockley, Sara Chipman, Mackenzie Webb and Caleb Fortune, will hold master sessions with students prior to beginning the 24-hour process, then will mentor during the 24-hour festival.

An Iowa native and Central College graduate, Shockley has worked as an actor, director and designer at companies such as T.R.E.A.T., Riverside Theatre and the Iowa Theatre Artists Company. He is currently based out of Des Moines, Iowa.

Sara Chipman is a theater graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul. She interned with the Schoolhouse Theatre ensemble in Orange City, Iowa, and was able to workshop her original full-length play, Shifts, at the University of South Dakota.

Webb has a theatre background consisting of acting, stage management and directing. She has completed arts management internships with About Face Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, and Phoenix Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.

Fortune is a recent graduate of film and theatre programs at Columbia College Chicago. He has directed multiple short films as well as produced a feature-length film.

For more information, call Jessica Chipman at (515) 320-1721 or Carlson at (320) 491-4444.