Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Zachary Levi, Thomas Kail, Theresa Rebeck and More Will Take Part in The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway
By Michael Gioia
Montblanc will present the 13th annual performance of The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway — where six original short plays are put together with writers, directors and actors in a 24-hour period — Nov. 18 at Broadway's American Airlines Theatre.
An annual benefit event produced by the 24 Hour Company and Freestyle Picture Company for Urban Arts Partnership, the 2013 company members include actors Sasha Alexander, Jason Biggs, Jamie Chung, David Cross, Natalie Dormer, Rachel Dratch, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Greta Gerwig, Gina Gershon, Karen Gillan, Bryan Greenberg, Hill Harper, Gaby Hoffmann, Zachary Levi, Anthony Mackie, Zosia Mamet, Diane Neal, Rosie Perez, James Purefoy, Fisher Stevens, Julia Stiles, Mickey Sumner and Tracie Thoms.
Directors include America Ferrera, Ari Edelson, Andy Fickman, Kathy Najimy and Thomas Kail, and writers include Rachel Axler, David Lindsay-Abaire, Lynn Nottage, Theresa Rebeck and Jonathan Marc Sherman.
A sixth participating writer was announced Oct. 21 as the winner of The 4th Annual Montblanc Young Writers Program. The winning playwright, Devin Mojica, will create one of the six short pieces for The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway with Craig "muMs" Grant as a mentoring playwright.
Proceeds from the evening's performance will support Urban Arts Partnership, NYC's largest arts educational organization, in its efforts to close the achievement gap in the city's underserved public schools.
"Urban Arts Partnership is proud our students have the opportunity to work with such incredible talent," said Philip Courtney, CEO of Urban Arts Partnership, in a statement. "Success in The 24 Hour Plays requires persistence, ingenuity, and critical thinking - qualities that are developed when students have arts education in their lives. Young people attending underserved New York City public schools get the short end of the stick when it comes to the arts, and thanks to our supporters we are giving them a fighting chance."
The creative process for The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway will begin at 10 PM on Nov. 17 – the night before the show – when a group of six writers, six directors, 24 actors, two musical guests and a production staff gather at the American Airlines Theatre. After the cast members share a costume, prop, their special skills and stage desires, each writer is tasked with composing a ten-minute play by 7 AM the following morning, when the directors return to read and select their piece. The casts will meet for the first time at 9 AM and, over the course of 12 hours, the plays are rehearsed and produced for a live presentation. At 8 PM, the six new plays – interspersed with six musical acts – will be performed for a live audience.
For the 2013 production, hair styling will be provided by ECRU New York and New York Streets with makeup provided by Kevin Aucoin. The Roots frontman, Questlove will DJ at the sponsor and cast after-party.
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