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Ana Villafañe, Raviv Ullman and More Star in Moving Edition Of THE 24 HOUR PLAYS: VIRAL MONOLOGUES

Last night's event also featured Brandon Espinoza, Danny Hoch, Alex Hernandez and more.

Ana Villafañe, Raviv Ullman and More Star in Moving Edition Of THE 24 HOUR PLAYS: VIRAL MONOLOGUES

Last night, The 24 Hour Plays and the New Sanctuary Coalition, an organization working tirelessly to liberate immigrants (Friends) from detention and help them remain safely in the United States, came together to tell the powerful stories of Friends navigating this unprecedented moment in time. Celebrated playwrights were paired with Friends to hear their stories from live calls over the past week. Overnight, the playwrights wrote brand-new monologues based on the interviews. The result was a not-to-be-missed set of Viral Monologues, available through August 29th on IGTV @24hourplays, on The 24 Hour Plays' Facebook and YouTube channels, and at https://24hourplays.com/viral-monologues/.

Raviv Ullman started off the evening with "What Do You See?," written by Tamara Sevunts. This monologue was inspired by conversations with a man who was incarcerated three times in his birth country for fighting for human rights and fled only to arrive to the U.S. to live through three months of ICE detention and ten months of wearing an ankle monitor.

Brandon Espinoza performed "A Test," written by Jesse J. Sanchez. This monologue was inspired by conversations with a man who has witnessed the entire pandemic from inside ICE detention - and who was just granted bond yesterday!

Danny Hoch performed "every step," written by Michael John Garcés. This monologue was inspired by conversations with a man who lived through two years of ICE detention and three years of wearing an ankle monitor.

Alex Hernandez performed "Yellow," written by Tony Meneses. The monologue was inspired by conversations with an activist who wore an ankle monitor for five months.

Jonathan Burke performed "Shackle," written by Elaine Moreno. This monologue was inspired by conversations with a man who has had to wear an ankle monitor over one year. He still has it on.

Joél Pérez performed "El sueño de Carlos," written by Caridad Svich. This monologue was inspired by conversations with a man released from ICE custody during the pandemic only to lose his beloved wife to COVID days after his release.

Rachel Leslie performed "Separations," written by Dylan Guerra. This monologue was inspired by conversations with a woman who wore an ankle monitor for three months, and who is the cousin of a recently kidnapped Garifuna leader.

Tony Sancho performed "If I Were To Ask One Thing," written by Juliette Carrillo. This monologue was inspired by conversations with a man who wore an ankle monitor for fifteen months.

Emma Ramos performed "Swell (Hinchado)," written by Julián Mesri. This monologue was inspired by conversations with a woman who lived through six months of ICE detention and one year of wearing an ankle monitor.

Ana Villafañe performed "El Segundo Acto," written by Donna Clovis. This monologue was inspired by conversations with an activist, warrior woman who wore an ankle monitor for three months.

Cedric Leiba Jr. performed "Lo que es de nosotros (What's rightfully ours)," written by Matt Barbot. This monologue was inspired by conversations with an activist who was detained nine months by ICE, released after the onset of the pandemic.

Those who were moved by the monologues can support the New Sanctuary Coalition's work by texting "NSC" to 44-321 or visiting newsanctuarynyc.org.

"We are honored to apply The 24 Hour Plays unique creative process in service of the New Sanctuary Coalition's urgently important mission," said Mark Armstrong, artistic director of The 24 Hour Plays. "Our work offers artists the opportunity to respond immediately to the world around us and these stories from the New Sanctuary Coalition's community of Friends are given powerful voice by a remarkable group of playwrights and actors. We hope that our partnership brings meaningful attention to the real human beings whose lives are being impacted by ICE incarceration and electronic incarceration."

"No one wants to be incarcerated, but as an "alternative to detention," ankle monitors - what ICE calls "GPS units" and our Friends call "shackles" - are a walking jail," said Ambien Mitchell, Accompaniment Coordinator for the New Sancturary Coalition. "Frequent check-ins in nondescript office buildings, telephone calls at all hours, the deafening alarm when the battery goes low and you're sitting on the bus, the constant low hum and vibration of electrical current coursing through your body, the promise that maybe it'll get removed if you surrender your passport but then having your passport held as a threat - all of this and more is psychological imprisonment, manipulation, torture. And there is no bond fund, no amount of money, that will get that shackle off. But what has worked is persistent accompaniment, witnessing, and relentless pressure from NSC staff, volunteers, and faith leaders."

"Every day, I talk to Friends in detention and their families. What I hear would break your heart," said Andres Jimenez, (anti)Detention Coordinator for the NSC. "Some of our Friends are locked in their cells for 20 or more hours a day, they have no soap or cleaning supplies, they're really sick and getting no medical attention. We give our Friends reason to hope, and help figure out how to get their cases heard so bond can be set. If they cannot afford to, we pay their bond through the NSC L.I.F.E. Bond Fund. It's really important that we are with them for the long haul - once they're liberated. We provide help and community through the pro se clinic, our weekly community meeting. The social work team makes sure they get connected to health care, housing, and other programs. NSC Friends are never alone in their fight."

On Monday night at 6 PM, actors shared brief orientation-style videos that allowed the writers to get to know them better. By 7 PM, writers and actors were paired, and writers went to work on crafting new monologues especially for their assigned actors, highlighting the experiences of their Friends. Actors received their monologues Tuesday morning and filmed their performances throughout the day. At 7 PM the video monologues began to be released to the world, completing the 24-hour cycle. The monologues will be available to view on IGTV and online for four days after their initial airing courtesy of an agreement with Theatre Authority, a nonprofit organization managed by Actors' Equity.

The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues are produced by Coleman Ray Clark and Madelyn Paquette. The artistic director of The 24 Hour Plays is Mark Armstrong.

The 24 Hour Plays are known for their work on Broadway, off-Broadway and around the world. Since 1995, their events have brought together extraordinary artists to create time-limited theater. Past participants including Jennifer Aniston, Laverne Cox, Billy Crudup, David Cross, Rosario Dawson, Daveed Diggs, Peter Dinklage, Rachel Dratch, Jesse Eisenberg, Edie Falco, America Ferrera, Greta Gerwig, Oscar Isaac, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie, Julianne Moore, Tracy Morgan, Cynthia Nixon, Anna Paquin, Rosie Perez, Phylicia Rashad, Chris Rock, Sam Rockwell, Liev Schreiber, Amanda Seyfried, Michael Shannon, Gabourey Sidibe, Sarah Silverman, Marisa Tomei, Naomi Watts and more!

More information for those who would like to support The 24 Hour Plays or attend a live performance in the future is available at https://24hourplays.com.



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