Up-and-coming performers, playwrights, directors, composers, and more take over the August 4 edition of The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues. All of those participating are part of The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals 2020 company, who are currently in the middle of a week-long intensive that culminates in their own production of The 24 Hour Plays.
The monologues air beginning at 6 PM ET on IGTV and YouTube, with new ones released every 15 minutes. The videos will remain available to watch through August 8, courtesy of an agreement with Theatre Authority, a nonprofit organization managed by Actors' Equity.
"The Nationals have been a meaningful experience for young artists who've launched important careers, and tonight some of those writer alums have rejoined us as guests to create pieces for our Nationals actors," said Mark Armstrong, artistic director for The 24 Hour Plays. "The Nationals are my favorite thing we do all year because there’s nothing like hearing a new voice for the first time."
The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals 2020 company includes performers Sammy Bluth, Kevin Brown, Jr., Malik Childs, Nicole Delsack, Ekemini Ekpo, Sarina Freda, Angela LaRose, Bailey Lee, Nicholas Leung, Amber Li, Sami Ma, Ariana Mahallati, Julian Mazzola, Abby Melick, Alex Michell, Melody Munitz, Lisa Naso, Benny Salerno, Zoë Sher, Maya Shoham, Jessica Natalie Smith, Portland Thomas, Keith Weiss, and Ema Zivkovic; directors Britt Berke, James Bruenger, Miranda Cornell, Elizabeth Couser, Ryan Dobrin, and Margaret Lee; playwrights Mildred Bodden, Kiana English, Claire Herzog, Marissa Joyce Stamps, Isabella Waldron, and Anna Zabel; producers Narissa Agustin, Ryan Duncan-Ayala, Olivia Facini, Kelsi Parsons, Chloe Brevik Rich, and Dylan Tashjian; and composer Austin Pogrob.
The Nationals alumni serving as guest writers for this project include Natyna Bean, Bekah Brunstetter, Juli del Prete, Maxine Dillon, Shara Feit, Laura Jacqmin, Jane Lindstrom, Charlie O’Leary, A.K. Payne, Natalie Rich, Marley Smith, and Piper Werle.
The process began August 3 at 6 PM, when actors shared orientation-style videos to allow the writers to get to know them better. By 7 PM, writers and actors were paired, and writers went to work crafting original pieces. Actors received their monologues this morning and will continue to film their performances throughout the day. The 24-hour cycle is completed with the launch of the first video at 6 PM.
The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals, in partnership with the New School for Drama, is a professional experience for artists 25 and under offering a series of workshops, panel discussions, and more. This week’s edition of the monologues will help financially support the Nationals program.
Recent edition of Viral Monologues have included “Fists Up/Underlying Conditions,” which raised money for Communities United For Police Reform. A May 12 collaboration on the intersection of COVID-19 and incarceration featured Rebecca Naomi Jones and André De Shields, while another challenged performers to present a musical monologue, with Daveed Diggs, John Gallagher, Jr., Sarah Steele, and more joining in.
Coleman Ray Clark and Madelyn Paquette serve as producers for the series, with Armstrong as artistic director.