‘PlaySlam’ collaborations, competitions
For the fifth year, Towson University took part in PlaySlam and teamed up with Morgan State University for the first time.
PlaySlam is a 24-hour event that allows students to show off their creativity and exchange ideas by putting on six original performances. Theatre students who major in playwriting, directing, designing or acting have an opportunity to participate in the event.
Students came together at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27 and began the evening with an icebreaker in order to introduce Towson and Morgan State students. They then came up with a theme and the playwrights randomly chose props, a word or an element that they had to incorporate into their script. The groups, made up of directors, playwrights and actors were also chosen randomly.
“It’s very chaotic…but it’s a lot of fun and everyone is very excited to be here, so it really just chaotic positive energy,” junior and theatre major Emily McCort, who helped organize the event, said.
Associate professor David White is the faculty advisor for PlaySlam.
“[The atmosphere] is great, high energy, everyone brings their best sense of collaboration and competition,” he said.
This year, instead of performing at Towson, participants rehearsed at Towson and then took a bus to Morgan State for the performances.
“We have a lot of schools that are close to us, I think it’s silly that we don’t get to work with them more often, so I’m excited. I think it would be cool to work with other schools too,” McCort said.
Keeping track of time is very important to the participants, as they have to follow a strict schedule. The playwrights had from 10 p.m. Friday night until 8 a.m. Saturday morning to write their scripts, which had to include the prop, word or element that was chosen for them to incorporate into the play. The playwrights also had to follow other restrictions like a ten-minute time limit.
PlaySlam is also a great way for students to network and grow as an artist by exchanging ideas.
“Networking and getting to know people outside your home theatre [makes] this a really good opportunity for everybody,” Assistant Stage Manager for Morgan State University, Erin Stevenson said.
White said that the event is helpful to theater majors because working together to complete these plays takes a lot of teamwork and hard work.
“[Competition] is shown through in all the right ways. I think everybody in this pushes each other to do better because everybody is up against the same challenge and the same risks,” White said.