Over a dozen theatre favorites took part in a special edition of The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues: Director's Cut May 19, including Tony winner Cynthia Nixon, Michael Urie, Mauricio Martinez, Maddie Corman, and Cobie Smulders. Director's Cut is a special collaboration with director Leigh Silverman (Grand Horizons), the 2016 recipient of The 24 Hour Plays Artistic Inspiration Award.
"In the last two months, I have been blown away watching The 24 Hour Plays adapt their signature insta-theatre into streaming content to unite our isolated creative community," said Silverman. This is the first edition to spotlight the directors, in addition to performers and playwrights.
Often seen on stage or screen, Nixon and Urie each directed a monologue (both have helmed productions Off-Broadway). Nixon directed herself in David Lindsay-Abaire's What's In The Box, Paul? while Urie helmed Ryan Spahn's See Ya, performed by Hal Robinson and Connor Delves.
Some directors also performed or wrote the monologues. Also directing pieces were Silverman, Zi Alikhan, Jake Beckhard, Adrienne Campbell-Holt, Sammi Cannold, Carolyn Cantor, Matt Dickson, Sean Daniels, Timothy Douglas, Gordon Greenberg, Kristin Hanggi, Raja Feather Kelly, Patricia McGregor, Molly Beach Murphy, Taylor Reynolds, Colette Robert, Danya Taymor, GT Upchurch, and Mia Walker.
Each director pulled from collaborators (a group of writers, performers, and writer-performers) including Corman, Martinez, Smulders, Todd Almond, Lemon Andersen, Heidi Armbruster, Max Ash, Serena Berman, Linda Cantor, Eisa Davis, Kristoffer Diaz, Connor Delves, Veronika Duerr, Gabriel Ebert, Ari Graynor, Kate Hamill, Lauren Speed Hamilton, Danny Hoch, Lovell Holder, Lily Houghton, Nathaniel Jackson, Vivian Korins, Zoe Lister-Jones, David Lindsay-Abaire, Ted Malawer, Cat Miller, Talene Monahon, Christopher Oscar Peña, Noah Robbins, Hal Robinson, Natalie Roy, Danielle Skraastad, and Brian Wiles.
In this edition of the ongoing Viral Monologues either directors wrote monologues and paired with a performer, performers directed themselves in a piece written by a collaborator, or directors helmed a piece crafted by a writer-performer. The process began May 18, when all participants shared brief orientation-style videos to to get to know each other better. After introductions, teams were formed and writers got to work crafting new monologues. Monologues were then distributed the morning of May 19, with the performers and/or directors filming the work throughout the day. The 24-hour cycle was completed with the launch of the videos at 6 PM.
Last week's performance was a collaboration on the intersection of COVID-19 and incarceration. Another recent edition of the viral plays challenged performers to present a musical monologue, with Daveed Diggs, John Gallagher, Jr., Sarah Steele, and more joining in. Check it out here.