Rome was not built in a day, but who said plays can't be?
Planet Impact presents six such plays Sept. 24 in a special celebrity benefit performance of The 24 Hour Plays at the Minetta Lane Theatre in Manhattan. Proceeds will go to Working Playground, a not-for-profit cultural organization that provides arts education programs.
Among the lineup of actors who are scheduled to appear are stage-and-film celebs Phillip Seymour Hoffman (True West), Mary-Louise Parker (Proof), Billy Crudup (Measure for Measure), Marisa Tomei (Wait Until Dark), Liev Schreiber (Betrayal), Rosie Perez (References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot), Robert Sean Leonard (Invention of Love, Music Man) and Jared Harris (the upcoming New Jersey Shakespeare Festival's Hamlet). Also featured will be Natasha Lyonne ("American Pie", "Slums of Beverly Hills") Rob Morrow ("Northern Exposure"), Adam Goldberg ("Saving Private Ryan", "Friends"), Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit), Adam Nelson, Brendan Sexton, Harold Perrineau, Brooke Smith, Andre Royou and Brent Cox.
The full day process of The 24 Hour Plays begins at 10 PM the night prior to performance. Typically, a group of fifty theatre artists (playwrights, directors, actors and designers) meet and are briefed and photographed. The writers are then left to their own wits to produce a ten-minute play. The following morning at 7 AM, the directors give the scripts a once-over, divvy them up and cast them. Actors make their entrance at 8 AM and rehearse from 9 AM on. The technical rehearsals run from 5 PM to 7:30 PM. Doors open at 7:45 and curtain rises at 8 PM and voila: six shows, all in a day's work.
The star-studded cast will bring life to the words of Warren Leight (Side Man), Frank Pugliese, Nicole Burdette and more under the direction of Gregory Mosher, Seth Rosenfeld, Anna Strasberg and other Broadway helmers to be named. Those involved in this production join a long line of artists who have participated in over 200 new short plays that The 24 Hour Plays has produced since its inception in 1995. Tickets to the event are on sale online via Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (212) 307-4100. For more information on the benefit and the company, visit www.24hourplays.com.
— by Ernio Hernandez