From March 29th through April 2nd, in honor of its 70th year, Ocala Civic Theatre will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous theatrical performance and will need to reach 79 hours of stage time to do so.
“This time to beat is 78 hours, 45 minutes and 16 seconds,” notes Larry Kiernan, director of marketing and promotions for the theater.
He says the 3 ½ day undertaking, “79 for 70!,” will be a community event involving hundreds of participants and volunteers.
“It would be a new world record to commemorate the hundreds of shows, thousands of songs and 1 million-plus patrons of the last 70 years at OCT,” he offers, “and launch the beginning of 70 more.”
Beginning at 7 pm on March 29th, and running until noon on April 2nd, performers will take the stage, repeating scenes from prior productions. Audience members will be needed to support the record-breaking endeavor.
According to the rules of the Guinness Book of World Records, a cast of no more than 20 actors may attempt the marathon performance, Kiernan notes in a news release.
“Since a performer may not return to the stage for at least one hour following the end of a play, selections will be performed by alternating groups of actors from the cast of 20,” he explains.
Performers cannot leave the theater grounds for the duration of the event so the theater, which has showers and dressing rooms, will provide meals and beds.
“We’ll take great care of them,” says OCT Artistic Director Katrina Ploof, in the release.
The actors will perform selections from the more than 600 productions in OCT’s 70-year history. A maximum of two minutes is permitted between scenes and no more than five minutes between shows. No material may be repeated for at least four hours, Kiernan notes.
The event must be filmed and official witnesses, timekeepers and logbooks are involved to make sure every part complies with Guinness requirements.
In addition, an audience of at least 20 people must be in attendance at all times, with four alternates on standby, in shifts of two hours to four hours. OCT is seeking groups to sign up for shifts as audience members. They will raise funds for the theater by soliciting monetary pledges based on the time they spend sitting in the audience.
To learn more, call 236-2274 or visit ocalacivictheatre.com.