Gonzalez, Rapp, Ferrera et al. Lead 24 HOUR MUSICALS, 3/7
On Monday, March 7, 2011, The 24 Hour Company will team with the Exchange to produce The 24 Hour Musicals at The Gramercy Theatre (127 East 23rd Street, between Park and Lexington Aves). Four brand new musicals will be written, cast, rehearsed and performed in a single day, featuring an star-studded line up of Broadway performers, composers, writers, directors, choreographers and musical directors. Creative director Ted Sperling (musical director of Light in the Piazza, South Pacific and Guys & Dolls), will lead some of the theatre's brightest talent from Broadway, film and television as they collaborate under one roof, in one day, to create original musical theatre.
To date, THE 24 HOUR MUSICALS participating artists include Mandy Gonzalez (In The Heights, WICKED), Golden Globe-winner America Ferrera ("Ugly Betty," Real Women Have Curves), Julian Fleisher (Coraline), Richard Kind (The Producers, "Mad About You"), three-time Tony Award-nominee Marc Kudisch (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Thoroughly Modern Millie), Nellie McKay (Threepenny Opera), Anthony Rapp (RENT, "A Beautiful Mind"), and Nat Wolff ("The Naked Brothers Band"). Participating artists are subject to change. Additional artists to be announced.
The creative process for THE 24 HOUR MUSICALS begins Sunday, March 6th at 9 p.m. when all participating artists will convene at the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park with a prop or costume piece to inspire the writers. After the company is briefed, the actors and directors will leave the writers to create the book, music and lyrics for their 15-minute musicals ...in just eight hours. At 7 a.m. Monday morning, the directors will return to read the completed musicals and finalize casting. An hour, the actors will return to begin a twelve-hour rehearsal process. At 8:00 p.m., ink barely dry, the four new musicals will be performed for a live audience. Although the actors only have one day to memorize lines, lyrics and music, create characters and learn blocking, the musicals are performed without scripts in hand.
Following the performance, a VIP reception will take place at The National Arts Club.
Proceeds from The 24 Hour Musicals benefit the Exchange, a NYC not-for-profit that
develops new theatre work through productions and its development center for innovative
theatre companies and artists in the Catskills, the Orchard Project. Tickets for the event are
$100 - $450.
The Exchange is an off-Broadway theater company that specializes in new work. But it is not a traditional theatre company: it spends more than half its time and budget on selective programs that allow other companies and artists to develop and display original work, and on creative initiatives that push the industry and the theatrical form. These initiatives include EXCHANGE NYC, a city-wide season of work united four Off-Broadway companies, The Orchard Project
retreat in upstate New York, and the Kesselring Fellowship, a writing award it presents in partnership with the National Arts Club. Over the past four years, over 40 American and international companies have developed work at the Orchard Project, and that work has gone on to stages ranging from Broadway and regional theaters, to off-off Broadway and international houses. This year alone, work created at the Orchard Project will be produced at the Royal Court, Arena Stage, Yale Rep, Rattlestick Theatre, The Public Theater, The Humana Festival, and many more.
The 24 Hour Company is a group of artists and producers that has mounted over 300 short
plays since 1995 --all written, cast, rehearsed and performed in a single day. Paper
Magazine wrote "the quality of the plays is remarkable," and the Village Voice adds, "Here
was the energy missing from the Ludlow scene... theatricality as life, as subversion, even
survival." The rotating cast and crew of The 24 Hour Plays have performed for sold-out
houses at the American Airlines Theater, The Old Vic, Atlantic Theater, Minetta Lane
Theater, 45 Bleecker Theater, the NY International Fringe Festival and other downtown
venues in New York, as well as in Chicago, Los Angeles and London. Participants have
included diverse talents from all levels- from Tony, Oscar and Pulitzer Prize winners to
emerging talent and high school students.
For more information, visit www.24hourplays.com/.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos
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