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Skyview will use speedy theatrics
BOB ZELLAR/ Gazette Staff David Ginn, left, and Aaron Brown will be part of the cast in '30 Plays in 61 Minutes' at Skyview High School. The performance will raise money for the two to go a national speech competition.

Watching "Macbeth" usually takes two hours and 20 minutes. "Hamlet" clocks in at just over four hours.

Aaron Brown, David Ginn, Sarah Groom and their peers have whipped up 30 plays to be performed in 61 minutes.

The performance, called "30 Plays in 61 Minutes," is a fundraiser for the Skyview High students who will be going to the National Forensics League finals in Atlanta in June.

"We decided to do something like this" to raise cash, Ginn said Wednesday. "Then Mace Archer got involved. This is a format he has used at Venture Theatre, which was OK because we were going to steal from him anyway."

Archer is the artistic director for Venture Theatre. With his help, Brown and Ginn auditioned actors for the plays, eventually settling on 15. The cast then wrote as many as 50 skits. On Monday, the cast winnowed the skits down to the 30, Brown said.

The play is interactive. Numbers from 1 to 30 line the front of the stage, each corresponding to a skit listed in the program. The audience calls out numbers and the cast performs the skit.

"The best part about it is it's spontaneous," Brown said.

The skits are humorous and insightful, said Becky Christiansen, an assistant speech coach who will also be going to Atlanta.

"They're not all funny. Some are pretty thought provoking. They're all very entertaining," she said.

Brown and Ginn will compete in the Duo category in Atlanta. Groom will compete in Original Oratory.

Christiansen and another coach will accompany them to Atlanta. "For each kid you bring to nationals, you have to judge four things," Christiansen said. "So if we bring three, that means we have to judge 12 contests, so that's why we need two coaches to go along."

The group hasn't totaled the amount they need to get to nationals, but estimate it's in the thousands of dollars. They will share hotel rooms with the entrants from Kalispell, "but plane tickets for five people alone get you into the thousands," Christiansen said.