The ACU Theatre department performed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for its third annual 24-Hour Musical on Saturday, raising more than double its goal in donations to charity.
The student-run production raised about $2,200 for Living Water International, a charity that provides fresh water to families in Central and South America, Africa and India.
“The goal was $1,000, which was more than we have ever raised before,” said Linda Kemp, administrative coordinator for the theatre department. “They wanted to increase our goal this year, and we did several things to increase our visibility – social media and online donations were very effective.”
The 24-Hour Musical began in Chicago with ACU alumnus Matthew Silar, said stage manager Ryce Garren, a 2015 alumnus. ACU picked up the idea with “Godspell” in 2014 and “High School Musical” last spring.
Preparations for the show began in the fall, Garren said, but only the directing team knew which musical would be performed.
“It started off at 10 productions listed, and every week or so we’d remove a production,” Garren said. “It got down to either Grease or Joseph before Christmas Break.”
The directing team revealed the choice at 7 p.m. Saturday, and rehearsals quickly got under way. The actors practiced their songs while the technical team worked on the set and the “stage moms” bought food and mended costumes.
The 24-Hour Musical is run entirely by students, Garren said. The faculty provide the facilities for the show, but it is organized and run differently than the Theatre department’s other productions.
“It’s definitely a rush,” said Courtney Rhodes, sophomore theatre major from Hartsville, South Carolina. “With other shows, there’s a lot of preparation, a lot of communication. If there’s a problem, we have time to take it back to the shop and fix it. With this one, you have thirty minutes to handle this problem.”
True to its name, the show opened at 7 p.m. Sunday, 24 hours after rehearsals began with many students having worked around the clock.
“It may be two, three hours – a bit of a power nap – but there are people who can find time to sleep,” Garren said. “Some people just power through and don’t sleep at all because they want to have it all solidified for the one performance.”
The single showing was a solid success, with donations still trickling in, Kemp said.
“It takes only $25 dollars to give clean drinking water to a family of five,” Kemp said. “We were able to make a significant impact in the health and lifestyle of many families.”
“It’s all just for a wonderful cause,” Garren said. “It’s a great time for people to use their talents in a way that’s totally selfless.”