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, Tim Daly, Natalie Dormer, Rachel Dratch, Griffin Dunne, Carmen Ejogo, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Gina Gershon, Karen Gillan, Bryan Greenberg, Hill Harper, Taran Killam, Zachary Levi, Josh Lucas, Anthony Mackie, James McAvoy, Diane Neal, Rosie Perez, Jay Pharoah, Maggie Q, Krysta Rodriguez, Ben Shenkman, Jordin Sparks, Fisher Stevens, Mickey Sumner, Tracie Thoms and Jennifer Westfeldt.
Directors include Ari Edelson, Jessica Bauman, Andy Fickman, Patricia McCregor, 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 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 an earlier 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 begins 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 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 – are performed for a live audience.
For the 2013 production, hair styling is 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.