Posters serve as inspiration for fourth annual Pop-Up Plays

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Sanford Farrier’s collection Plays Not Yet Written is currently on display in the Town Hall Theater’s Jackson Gallery, open Monday-Saturday, 12-5 p.m. Farrier’s posters will be the inspiration for the six playwrights participating in this year’s Pop-Up Plays on April 1. 
Six playwrights compose plays within 24-hours
The process of creating Pop-Up Plays is simple: six playwrights stay up all night writing a 10-minute play, based on photos of their actors (many of whom they’ve never met) and a poster created by artist and graphic designer Sanford Farrier, from his collection Plays Not Yet Written.  The next morning, the hot-off-the-press scripts are given to 16 local actors and six daring directors to memorize and stage in just 10 hours. Whatever they come up with premieres in front of a live audience that evening. The entire process — from the first playwrights’ meeting to the curtain falling on the final play — takes 24 hours. 
“I like to call this ‘One of the best days in the theater all year!’” said Pop-Up producer Mary Longey. “So innovative, exciting, technically challenging for all, and filled with joy at the end of the day.”
Last year’s plays included a marriage counselor riding a unicycle and playing with a wind-up duck, a film-noir inspired tale featuring a female detective and a male “femme fatale” with an extremely long name, and a family drama with a pair of magical roller skates.
This year, the inspiration for each playwright’s creation will stem from a poster from Sanford Farrier’s collection Plays Not Yet Written — evocative and visually stunning posters designed for plays that — you guessed it — don’t yet exist. An exhibition of Farrier’s collection is currently on display in Town Hall Theater’s Jackson Gallery, with an artist’s reception taking place the evening of March 31, the night before Pop-Up Plays. 
According to Farrier, “each poster is an invitation to the viewer to engage in a conversation about theatrical and thematic possibilities. It starts with a first impression, hopefully leads to thoughtful exploration, and finally poses the question ‘So, given this treatment and imagery, what do you think this play is about?’” Farrier’s fascinating posters are a perfect jumping-off point for Pop-Ups on-the-spot playwrights.
In addition, each play must include a line, voted on by the public. In honor of April Fool’s Day, each line is the punchline to a joke. To vote for this year’s line, visit www.townhalltheater.org/pop-up-plays-2017.
This year’s Pop-Up Play participants are a handy mix of newcomers and old pros. For instance, Chris Caswell and Jordan Gullikson, who have both taken on the role of playwright and director in Pop-Ups past, return this year as playwrights, along with veteran Pop-Ups playwright Geeda Seerforce. 
Pop-Up Plays will be performed on April 1 at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, by calling (802) 382-9222 or in person at the THT box office Monday-Saturday, 12-5 p.m. 
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