Need for Speed: CF actors join Black Hawk Theatre’s annual fundraiser

By: Albie Nicol

Given 24 hours, a team of actors and a song, some CFHS students and graduates rose to the challenge of creating 10-20 minutes shows in under 24 hours. Altogether, five teams banded together to participate in Speed Theatre this past weekend at Waterloo Community Playhouse/Black Hawk Children’s Theatre.  The event celebrated its sixth year and originally came to existence because the creators, Terry Kottman and Linnea Nicol, who are both previous WCP/BHCT board members, wanted a fun way to incorporate fundraising into theater itself.

Each participant of the team pays $25 to participate, and when a team draws a song they’re supposed to incorporate into the show, they can pay $10 to draw another song if they don’t like their original song.

Each year has a theme that the songs must fit into such as questions, weather, destinations and love. This year, since the theater had so many songs left over from years previous, they put them all up for possibilites with this year’s theme, grab bag.

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 9.20.53 AMThis created a large range of acts, from a show about the woes of love and marriage to a show about an old woman who only cares about herself in life and in death. After the show, the judges deliberated and handed out awards: best actor and actress, best supporting actor and actress, best use of song and best use of props. They also typically have four to six other awards to celebrate exceptional efforts that don’t fit with the above mentioned categories.

While a majority of participants were either high school graduates, parents or adults, there were some Cedar Falls students and alum involved in the event. Sophomore Arlo Hettle  and senior Grace Gubbrud were on a team with Katie Koester, a sophomore from West, and John Nicol, a 2015 alum. Senior Jonathan Kuehner was on a team that consisted of Rachel Kuehner, who is a freshman at Holmes; Shelby Davis, who is a homeschooled high school graduate; and Tyler Fulks, who graduated from Columbus in 2015.

The opportunity for Speed Theatre is an annual opportunity at WCP/BHCT. “I do it every year because I enjoy the opportunity to write and perform, considering that’s what I want to do as my career for the rest of my life,” said Nicol, recalling the crazy havoc and fun he’s had the past five years of participating.

While the time constraint definitely isn’t a realistic depiction of what most theatrical processes are like, it motivates the participants. “My favorite part of Speed Theatre is when it all comes together about two hours before the final show. Everything up to that point is chaotic and hectic,” Nicol said about his favorite theatrical event of the year.

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