This year marks the tenth anniversary of the one-night-only event that brings together writers, directors and actors who must conceive, write and rehearse six short plays within the span of 24 hours in time for an 8 PM public performance Nov. 14. The plays were interspersed with six musical acts.
The writers included Pulitzer Prize winners David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole, Good People, Shrek), Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife, Grey Gardens), Lynn Nottage (Ruined, By the Way Meet Vera Stark), as well as Tony Award winner Terrence McNally (Kiss of the Spider Woman, Master Class, Ragtime), Emmy winner Rachel Axler ("The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," "Parks and Recreation"), actress-songwriter Laura Bell Bundy (Legally Blonde, Hairspray) and musician Andy Davis ("Let the Woman").
Here is a look at the starry cast:
Megan Fox, Sarah Silverman, Tracy Morgan, John Krasinski and More Perform The 24 Hour Plays; Curtain Call and Party
Actors involved included Academy Award nominee Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious"), Academy Award nominee Jesse Eisenberg ("The Social Network," Asuncion), Megan Fox ("Jennifer's Body"), Rosie Perez ("Fearless," Frankie and Johnny), Jack McBrayer ("30 Rock"), Amber Tamblyn ("Joan of Arcadia"), Tony winner Billy Crudup (Coast of Utopia), Carla Gugino (Desire Under the Elms, "Watchmen"), David Cross ("The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret"), Diane Neal ("Law & Order: SVU"), Greta Gerwig ("Greenberg"), Jason Biggs ("American Pie"), Jason Sudeikis ("SNL"), John Krasinski ("The Office"), Justin Bartha (Asuncion, "The Hangover"), Kathy Najimy ("Hocus Pocus," "King of the Hill"), Lake Bell ("No Strings Attached," "How to Make it in America"), Rachel Dratch ("SNL"), Sarah Silverman ("The Sarah Silverman Program") and Tracy Morgan ("30 Rock"). Participating directors are Derek Cianfrance ("Blue Valentine"), Donmar Warehouse artistic director Josie Rourke, Inge Center artistic director Peter Ellenstein and Tony nominee Thomas Kail (In the Heights).
The event benefits Urban Arts Partnership, a non-profit organization that advances the intellectual, social and artistic development of underserved public school students through arts-integrated education programs to close the achievement gap.
Here's how the annual event works. The process begins at 10 PM on Nov. 13, when the entire team of actors, playwrights, directors and production staff gather at the American Airlines Theatre. Each cast member shares a costume, a prop, their special skills and "stage desires" to their respective writers. The playwrights must then create a ten-minute play by 7 AM the following day in order to allow the directors and cast time to rehearse the piece for the public presentation that evening.