Online Handbook
(PDF Handbook Available under "Downloadable Resources" tab above.)

A.     Dates/Times:  Here is a summary of important dates and times for the 24HTP.  Many of these listed activities are herein elaborated upon.   All events will promptly begin at their designated times.

Friday, August 6th

·         Kickoff ………………………………………………………………..5:30 PM

·         Teams released / “Official 24 Hour Time Period” Begins…………….6:00 PM

Saturday, August 7th

·         Scripts &  Paperwork Accepted…….....................................................5:00 PM

·         Scripts & Paperwork Due / “Official 24 Hour Time Period” Ends…...6:00 PM

·         24HTP Performance & Awards Event Begins………………………...7:00 PM

 B.    Location:

·         The 24HTP events (kickoff, script collection, performances) will take place at:

Mindframe Theaters

555 JFK, Dubuque, Iowa

(Behind Kennedy Mall)

·         Groups will be responsible for finding/securing space for the creation of their individual play (writing, rehearsing, etc.).  No loitering at the theater.

C.    Registration and Fee: A completed registration form (available online) and fee payment must be received by Trainwreck Productions before August  5th.

·         Fee: $5.00 before July 23rd, $10.00 after July 23rd.

Make checks payable to Paige Triervieler, Trainwreck Productions treasurer.

·         Mail to: Trainwreck Productions, 7721 Olde Massey Rd. Dbq, IA 52003

D.    Team must include a minimum of 3 team members and a maximum of 7.  All team members must be at least 15 years of age.

E.     Kickoff:  Each participating group must have a representative at the official Kickoff Event of the 24 Hour Theatre Project, which will take place Friday, August 6th promptly at 5:30 PM in the lobby of Mindframe Theaters.

·         Each team will choose the genre of its play in a random drawing.

·         Teams will be given the option of relinquishing the genre selected in the drawing for another genre. If opting to redraw, teams may not go back to their original genre.

·         Groups will receive a list of required elements to be included in their play.

·         A brief tour of Mindframes Theaters’ stage theatre one may be provided.  Please attempt to familiarize yourself with the space before August 6th.

·         Teams will receive a copy of all required forms that must also be submitted with the final script.

·         There will be time for Questions and Answers before release at 6:00 PM.

F.     Elements: Each participating group will be assigned required elements that must appear in its play, such as a character/occupation, a prop, and/or a line of dialogue.  These elements are assigned at the aforementioned kickoff event (See E).

·         The required Character and Prop must be seen on-stage.

·         The required Line of Dialogue must be used verbatim. It may be spoken, sung, and/or written. It may be in any language, though if it is unclear that it is the required Line, there must be a translation.

G.    Genres: Each participating group will draw and be assigned a genre that should be a major characterizing factor of their play.  These drawing and assignment takes place at the aforementioned kickoff event (See E).  Possible genres include:

·         Comedy: Intended to amuse, light and often humorous or satirical in tone and that usually contains a happy resolution of the thematic conflict.

·         Tragedy: The main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances.

·         Drama: A specific genre that is neither comedic nor tragic, but involves serious conflict and mood.

·         Dark Comedy: Subgenre of drama and comedy in which disturbing or sinister subjects like death, disease, or warfare, are treated with bitter amusement, usually in a manner calculated to offend and shock.

·         Fantasy: Fiction characterized by highly fanciful or supernatural elements and narrative that distorts or entirely departs from reality.

·         “Film Noir”:  Genre that establishes a presentational contract through one or multiple characters breaking from the action, often abruptly, for asides to the audience and revealing their true inner thoughts or stream and consciousness which is of contrasts to their interaction and dialogue with the other characters.

·         Horror:  Characterized by something unpleasant, ugly, or disagreeable and the great agitation and anxiety caused by the expectation or the realization of danger because of its existence.

·         Sci Fi: (Science Fiction) Fiction is which science or technology provides logical explanation to fanciful or supernatural qualities of characters or action.

·         Historical Fiction/Period Piece:  Dominantly characterized by the contract of time that can affect dress, behavior, action and language of characters.

·         Romance: Centers around a complication, mistaken identity, misunderstanding or the like of a romantic relationship between two characters in which the relationship usually perseveres in the end.

·         Mystery: Genre in which the cause(s) of a puzzling happening, often a crime, is gradually revealed by the hero or heroine; this is accomplished through a mixture of intelligence, ingenuity, the logical interpretation of evidence, and sometimes sheer luck.

·         Surprise Ending:  Think of this as the “M. Night Shyamalan genre.”  This genre misleads the audience to believe something for a majority of the work, and leads to an ending that is both, unexpected, yet logical and feasible by the set-up of previous action.

H.    The “Official 24-Hour Time Period” is Friday, August 6th 6:00 PM to Saturday, August 7th 6:00 PM. Any creative work in advance of the “official 24 hour time period”  is prohibited.  Only team members may participate in creative work.  Creative work includes, but is not limited to:

·         Writing the script

·         Rehearsing

·         Designing or constructing costumes, scenery, or sound

I.      Preparation work:  The only work to begin prior to the “Official 48 Hour Time Period” is:

·         Organizing the Team (Writers, Directors, Cast, Crew, Musicians, etc.)

·         Securing materials/equipment for costume, set or sound design or construction if the team so desires.

·         Scouting and securing locations for writing, construction, and/or rehearsal.

J.     Space/Stage Specs:  Performances will take place in Mindframe Theaters’ stage theater.

·         Stage Floor dimensions:


·         Stage Height (from floor-level): 1’7.5”

·         One movable step 3’8”x1’2.5”x10” is provided.

·         There is one door, a fire exit in the front of the theatre house-left that leads to a 45’ hallway to the outside of Mindframe Theaters.  This door and hallway will be used for scenery load-in.  This door may also be used as an entrance/exist and the hallway “backstage” for actors and set during the play.

·         Floor-level house-left, is an available playing space.  Floor-level house-right is a limited playing space and set-up for the house band.

·         Two doors, at the back of the house-left and -right that lead into the lobby, and the side aisles, house-left and -right, are available playing spaces and entrances/exits.  The aisles are 4’ wide and 55’ to the stage area, considerable walking and hearing distances and surround on both sides by seating.

K.    Space Acoustics: Please realize that performances will take place in a space intended for the presentation of film productions and not live theatre productions.  As such, the space is designed with walls and surfaces to absorb sound blasted in from a sound system.  Actors should anticipate that they will need to project in the space, not letting the intimacy of the audience and stage to mislead them.

L.     Technical Elements:  The use of technical elements will be allowed and encouraged only until their existence distracts from the performance of the script and efficient running of the event.

·         Lights may not be gelled; Light cues are limited only to “Lights Down” and “Lights Up” when play begins and “Lights Down” when play ends.

·         4-plastic armchairs and a 2’x4’ collapsing table will be provided.  They will be stored “backstage” when not in use.

·         Set pieces must be free standing, able to fit through a 6’x7”x3’10” door and make tight corners and stairs.

·         Set pieces will need to remain outside the theater until your group’s set up time has begun.  Make proper weather arrangements.

·         Groups choosing to use electronic or digital sound cues must provide their own sound system (i.e. CD player) and operator (may be a cast member).  A single electric outlet will be provided.  Any music played during the performance must be the property of the group or member of the group.

·         Teams will have 6 minutes to set up and 6 minutes to strike (take down), beyond which the time counts toward the play’s 15 minute maximum.

·         Teams may overlap in set-up with strike of the previous play.  Teams will be guaranteed at least one minute of strike without overlap.

M.    Play Duration: The finished play performed must be a minimum of 7 minutes in duration, and a maximum of 15 minutes in duration—excludes a 6 minute set-up time (See bullets 6 and 7 of section L).

N.    Play Eligibility: Entries containing prohibited or inappropriate content as determined by Trainwreck Productions, in its sole discretion, to be inappropriate will be disqualified from competition. Trainwreck Productions reserves the right to make the final determination as to which entries are eligible.  To be eligible for the project and competition, entries must be:

·         the original work of the entrant

·         must not infringe third-party's rights

·         must be suitable for publication (i.e., may not be obscene or indecent)

·         must not contain obscene or pornographic material

·         may not contain defamatory statements about any person, company, organization or entity

·         may not invade privacy or other rights of any person, company or entity

·         may not in any other way violate applicable laws and regulations

·         and may not contain any copyrighted elements (other than as owned by the entrant and/or Trainwreck Productions)

O.    Scripts Due: Scripts are due to a representative of Trainwreck Productions Saturday, August 7th 6:00 PM in the lobby of Mindframe Theaters.  The script must be turned in with a signed Certification Statement, Team Roster and Waivers/Releases (Distributed at the Kickoff Event; Available online; Limited emergency copies will be at the theater).  A representative of Trainwreck Productions will be available to collect scripts and paperwork beginning at 5:00 PM.

P.     The Performance & Awards Event will begin promptly Saturday, August 7th at 7:00 PM, in the stage theater of Mindframe Theaters.  All members involved in the play’s performance must attend and participate.  The performance and awards event is free and open to the public; donations are gladly appreciated and accepted.

Q.    Submitted plays are to be performed as the play details.

R.    Team Roster & Waivers/Releases: Each team must provide a Team Roster and completed Waiver & Release forms for each team member with the submitted script. (Distributed at Kickoff; Available online.) The play will not perform before the Trainwreck Productions receives these forms.

S.     No Entries (media or documents) will be returned.

T.     Submitted scripts will become archived property of Trainwreck Productions.

·         Plays may be revived for a future Trainwreck Productions events or productions.

·         Groups may be invited to develop or workshop an outstanding 24HTP play for larger production.

·         All authors, original cast and technicians will retain credit for their work.

U.    Awards and Judging:  A panel of local judge will be present at the performance event and will collectively decide which plays receive recognition for various aspects.  Recognitions may include, but not limited to nor requiring:

·         Best Creative Use of Assigned: Genre; Character/Occupation; Line of Dialogue; Prop.

·         Best Play Overall: First Place; Second Place; Third Place.

V.     People’s Choice Awards:  The People’s Choice Award is an additional for Trainwreck Productions and fundraiser. Anyone present at the performance and awards event may participate by money into the receptacle of the team/play he/she wants to award.  Each team/play will have a designated receptacle.  The team/play that raises the most money wins the “People’s Choice Award.”  Money donated through this award will be split between Trainwreck Productions and Dubuque’s Multicultural Family Center’s Drama Club program.

W.    Amendments/Addendums: Trainwreck Productions may add to or amend these rules at any time prior to the beginning of the official 24 hour time period.


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