Though MCC Theater has canceled the remainder of its 2019–2020 season, the Off-Broadway organization will continue to present live—albeit virtual—readings as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps places of mass gatherings closed. MCC’s Virtual Events series will kick off April 28 with a reading of Alan Bowne’s Beirut.
Oscar winner Marisa Tomei (seen on Broadway last fall in The Rose Tattoo) will star as Blue, reprising her performance from MCC’s 1987 One Act Play Festival. Joining her will be Oscar Isaac (who was due to appear Off-Broadway this season in Three Sisters at New York Theatre Workshop), as well as MCC founding member Patrick Breen in a cameo.
“There are obvious parallels between the 'plague' in the play, and the situation we are experiencing now,” Tomei says. “When I reached out to MCC to connect over the somewhat prophetic nature of the play, the discussion sparked ideas, and this reading was born.”
The Virtual Events series will continue May 13 with the launch of Live Labs: One Acts, with a free weekly play reading streaming every Wednesday for at least six weeks. Writers contributing plays (each under 45 minutes) include Robert Askins, Aziza Barnes, Peter Hedges, C.A. Johnson, Matthew Lopez, and Talene Monahon.
Additionally, MCC is hosting biweekly open mic nights and “Creative in Quarantine” support groups. Its “Be Our Light” fundraising campaign continues, with two separate challenge grants pledging to match up to a combined $500,000.
For tickets to Beirut (ranging from $5–$25) and more information, visit MCCTheater.org.