Seven playwrights, chosen by New World Arts, will stretch their creativity skills to maximum capacity on Friday, Jan. 23 at the Electric Brew.

At 11 p.m., the New World Arts’ 24/7 Theater Festival officially begins. The playwrights will be told the genders of their characters and be given the same opening line, chosen by the public via e-mail prior to the festival.

The writing will cease at 6 a.m. the next morning. At this point, one director and two actors will be assigned to each of the seven scripts. Throughout the morning, the directors will have an hour to prepare before they meet with the actors to rehearse from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The participants’ hard work will culminate with two performances on Saturday night at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

According to Laura Gouin, artistic director of New World Arts, “When you have little time to think and can only act on instinct, some truly brilliant moments can transpire.”

Gouin brought the idea of a 24/7 festival to Goshen from Chicago six years ago. The Goshen festival takes place once in the spring and and once in the fall.

According to Emily Swora, a senior and past participant, “It’s a high-pressure situation, but everyone brings everything to the table and works hard and creatively all-day long.”

This year, there are several current and past Goshen College students who will participate: Angelique Birky-Hartmann, a senior, will co-produce the festival; Patrick Maxwell, a sophomore, will be an actor; Mike Honderich, a 2008 alum, will be a playwright; and Bryan Falcon, a former faculty and student, will direct.

“[The festival] brings together local talent, students and professional talent to create something amazing,” said Gouin.

New World Arts is still in search of a few actors to participate in the festival. Anyone interested in acting should e-mail Gouin at

General admission tickets cost $15 and tickets for students and seniors cost $10.