The 16th annual gala production of The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway takes over the American Airlines Theatre with a host of Broadway actors, including Hamilton's Daveed Diggs; Tracie Thoms, currently starring in Falsettos; and Fun Home star Michael Cerveris. The annual event brings together writers, directors, and actors to create and perform six original plays within 24 hours, November 13-14.
The marathon process for The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway began at 10 PM November 13. The writers, directors, actors, and production staff—many of whom have never worked with or met each other before—gathered for an orientation where they were asked to share one costume piece, one prop, a special skill, and to reveal something that they have always wanted to do on stage. Using this as inspiration, the writers have spent the night developing 10-minute plays, with rehearsals set to begin at 9 AM November 14 prior to the 8 PM gala performance.
Other actors who are performing include Justin Bartha (The Hangover); Jason Biggs (Orange is the New Black); Justice Smith (The Get Down); Hugh Dancy (Hannibal); Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live); Gaby Hoffmann (Transparent); Patrick Wilson (Angels in America); Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia); Jenna Ushkowitz (Glee); Paul Schneider (Parks and Recreation); Julie White (The Little Dog Laughed); Thomas Sadoski (The Newsroom); Shakina Nayfack (Difficult People); Michael Chernus (OITNB); Marin Ireland (reasons to be pretty); Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show); Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels); Ukweli Roach (Blindspot); Alicia Witt (The Walking Dead); Russell G. Jones (Ruined); Mike Carlsen (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt); Joanna Christie (Narcos); David Krumholtz (Numbers); Grace Gummer (Mr. Robot); Olivia Washington (The Butler); and more.
Writers include Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole); Hansol Jung (Cardboard Piano); playwright and television producer Warren Leight (Law and Order: SVU); playwright and screenwriter Christopher Oscar Peña (Jane the Virgin); playwright Jonathan Marc Sherman (Knickerbocker); and Drama Desk Award-winning playwright Bess Wohl (Small Mouth Sounds).
Directors include Carolyn Cantor, Dick Scanlan, Lee Sunday Evans, Elena Araoz, Mark Brokaw, and Patricia McGregor. Tony-nominated director Leigh Silverman is the honoree for the evening, and Ethan Lipton and his orchestra are the musical guests for the evening.
Silverman, who recently directed Judith Light in Neil LaBute’s All the Ways to Say I Love You at MCC Theater, is being recognized as an inspiration to young theatre professionals.
Funds raised at the event will benefit The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals, an initiative which brings together young actors, writers, directors, and producers from across the country for a series of workshops and panel discussions. The annual program culminates with its own production of The 24 Hour Plays.