A theater festival with a sense of urgency

Hana Lass in a scene from "14/48," summer 2009

There's something enormously satisfying about "14/48," also known as the world's quickest theater festival. It's certainly creative and energetc. But that can be said about many arts endeavors around town. What makes "14/48" so wonderfully distinctive is its unbridled sense of urgency. Unlike most theater, which requires the gestation period of a small glacier, "14/18" creates 14 plays -- many of them quite good -- and some kickass music (with a live band) in the span of 48 hours.

The January iteration of this biennial exercise in culture from chaos ends this weekend. ("14/48" runs over two weekends, and the second weekend features a new package of plays, so it's really a 28/96 festival, for those keeping score.) Look for me at the 10:30 p.m. show Saturday (1/15) at ACT Theatre, and if you can still score tickets at this late date, do yourself that favor. If you can't, don't despair. "14/48" will be back in July (dates and venue TBA), with dozens of playwrights, directors and performers ready to create quickly.