So what did NoHo’s Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre do in 50 hours?

What can you do in 50 hours? Well Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre does a theatre festival.

50 Hour Drive By Theatre Festival at Zombie Joes Underground Theatre

Just an FYI, NoHo is a theatre district. We have the highest concentration of theatres outside of NYC. But what the NoHo Arts District dot Com team likes to highlight is the type of theatres we have in the neighborhood. If you are new to theatre or an aficionado, you have to check out one or all of the shows at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre (ZJU) – creative, scary, funny, turbo from anything from new works and Halloween spectaculars to musicals and even the classics. Every show has the Zombie Joe flair we like to say. Well every January, the hardworking folks at ZJU take 50 hours and create a theatre festival. Yep. Just a typical weekend in North Hollywood.

We asked Adam Neubauer, general manager of ZJU, to give us more information on this annual tradition.

So, what exactly is The 50-Hour Drive By Theatre Festival?

The 50-Hour Drive By Theatre Festivalwas started in 2002 when Jeri Batzdorff came to Zombie Joe with the idea of doing a short play festival. They decided that it would be best to do it in 50 hours, rather than 24, to allow more time to rehearse and to create a more cohesive show.

The writers are randomly assigned actors, and three props that must be written into the framework of the play.

It’s an incredible challenge for all company members, which is why so many want to do it again the following year.

What’s new about this year’s 50-Hour Drive By Theatre Festival?

This year, we have the largest number of participants we’ve ever had. There are 5 plays this year: 18 actors, 5 writers, and 5 directors, with Jim Eshom doing double-duty of writing and directing for his 13th Drive-By.

Bitter Lemons editor is participating, that’s cool!

Yes. We had the pleasure of putting up a play of Colin’s a couple of years ago, and he agreed to come in and act for this year. He’s incredibly excited about working with ZJU again, and we’re very honored he’s going to be with us this year.  Read more about our friends over at Bitter Lemons>>

50 Hour Drive By Theatre Festival at Zombie Joes Underground Theatre

How do you pick the writers, actors?

In the middle of December, Zombie Joe burns all of the old postcards from the 50-Hour the previous year, and from the ashes, reads whatever names he can, and they tell him who should be in the show.

It’s a secret process, but we generally try to involve actors and writers who have worked on shows in the previous season.

Any last words?

This show is thrilling, challenging, and extremely fun. Come opening night to see just what can be created in 50 hours.

Get your tickets>>

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Lisa Bianconi
Author: Lisa Bianconi

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