For the past week, NDSU students have been scrambling to place the final touches on seven individual plays, lasting only 11 minutes.
These students have been participating in Newfangled Theatre’s annual 7/11 Project, a creative project that challenges students to create seven individual plays that last only 11 minutes.
This “newfangled” idea is now in it’s sixth year.
Alex Kleven, a senior in theatre arts at NDSU and chair of Newfangled, said of 7/11, “The whole point of it is really to just put something out there that’s unfiltered and raw and see how it’s received … I don’t know what the original reason for the time constraints was. I think it was initially just to kind of to make it frantic. To make it hard to second guess yourself, and just to put out whatever you think of first. But as it’s develops, I think it’s really turned into more of a game or a challenge.”
Newfangled designs a set that all seven plays must use in their production. Then, seven writers come in and see the set and have seven days to write a script. After that, seven directors read the scripts, cast the individual shows and have eleven days to rehearse and plan the show.
Not just theatre majors but also non-majors, from all across campus, can participate in the 7/11 Project.
“We have three non-majors doing lighting design and sound design. We have one non-major writer. We have one non-major director. I think we have between seven and nine non-major actors,”said Kleven. “Which is super cool. A lot of the times, our non-major actors from 7/11 come from the non-majors acting class. But we have some that have just come in, which is just so cool to see. That’s the whole point of Newfangled Theatre Company, is to bridge the gap between non-majors and majors, and to kind of explain even if you can’t commit yourself to a main stage show, you can still be involved in our department.”
This year, Kleven is most excited to be outside of the writing process. He gave his writing spot to a freshman who wanted to write for the project this year.
“I remember when I was a freshman and I didn’t want to write, but I got encouraged to write by a senior,” said Kleven, “and so I got to give my spot to him. And now I’m directing his piece. And it’s just been kind of fun to watch someone that I was in their shoes get to experience their first writing being produced on stage. It’s really cool.”
7/11 is only part of Newfangled Theatre Company’s participation on campus. Each spring, they also host a main stage production that is usually written by a student. This year, Newfangled is also excited to start the Newfangled Performance Studio, which will take place Friday nights from 7 – 10 p.m., starting in two weeks.
“We’re going to be in (Askanase) just working monologues and scenes with whoever from campus wants to come in, work and share their art of any kind,” Kleven explained. “We’re just going to make a safe space for people to just come and work on theatre for fun. We’re going to try and do that, and bring that in to Newfangled for the year-round. It’s brand new, it’s kind of come out of my brain and I’m just trying to figure out the groundwork for it all. But I want to start a new legacy with what Newfangled can do.”
7/11 Project will take place today, Thursday, and tomorrow, Friday, at 7:30 p.m. in Askanase Auditorium. The project is free for everyone. For more information on 7/11 or on Newfangled Theatre, visit their Facebook page.
WHAT: 7/11 Project
WHEN: Sept. 21 & 22, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Askanase Auditorium
MORE INFO: Newfangled Theatre Company’s Facebook page