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.
Following the recent terrorist attacks, the aim of the funds were changed to help aid in the creation of a children's mural honoring the victims of Sept. 11. Press spokesperson Alison McGonigal told Playbill On-Line that following a board meeting, the concesus was, "It would be great for the kids to express themselves through a mural." She added that the hope of the mural would "become a part of the healing process."
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), Kyra Sedgwick (Stranger), Lili Taylor and Jared Harris (both fro New Jersey Shakespeare Festival's Hamlet). Also featured will be Natasha Lyonne ("American Pie", "Slums of Beverly Hills"), Benjamin Bratt (of "Law and Order" fame), Julianne Moore ("Boogie Nights"), Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit), Brendan Sexton III, Andre Royo, Scarlett Johansson, Drena DeNiro, Adam Nelson, Brice Gaillard, Catherine Kellner, Sam Rockwell 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), Richard LaGrabenese, Frank Pugliese, Nicole Burdette, Tamara Jenkins, and Chris Shinn under the direction of Gregory Mosher, Seth Rosenfeld, Tom Gilroy, Anna Strasberg, Itamar Kubovy and Pippin Parker. 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.
— by Ernio Hernandez