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The 24 Hour Plays to Launch Viral Monologues (Exclusive)


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An artistic endeavor built around the very notion of tight time constraints has come up with its own instant response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues will launch tonight, with a game cast of 20 actors performing original works written, filmed and premiered all in the space of a single day and adhering to the cautionary requirements of social distancing.

Participating actors include David Cross, Richard Kind, Rachel Dratch, Andre Royo, Denis O’Hare, Will Swenson, Hugh Dancy, Tavi Gevinson, Marin Ireland, Ashlie Atkinson and Patrick Wilson.

The original monologues were written by David Lindsay-Abaire, Hilary Bettis, Hansol Jung, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Christoper Oscar Peña, Howard Sherman, Jesse Eisenberg, Simon Rich, Sam Chanse, Kathleen Hale, Jenny Rachel Weiner, Lily Padilla, Harrison David Rivers, Ken Greller, Rachel Axler, Lily Houghton, Charlie O’Leary and Monique Moses.

“We’re The 24 Hour Plays and we go to work,” said artistic director Mark Armstrong in a statement. “We’ve always made work about the most difficult moments in our lives, from 9/11 to Hurricane Sandy to the 2016 election. After my friend Howard Sherman called me with the perfect idea, we figured out how to do just that without physically getting people together. It’s a privilege to work with these incredible talents to capture this moment and help give friends around the world something that only the arts can provide.”

The purpose-written monologues will debut from 6 p.m. to midnight ET, with a new piece published every 15 minutes on IGTV @24hourplays and

The cast shared short orientation videos at 6 p.m. ET on Monday to allow the playwrights to get acquainted with them. Actors and writers were paired by 7 p.m. The monologues were then crafted overnight and scripts delivered at 9 a.m. this morning, with performances filmed throughout the day.

Other actors collaborating on the event are Bobby Moreno, Amy Hargreaves, Joel Marsh Garland, Timothy Douglas, Russell G. Jones, Isabelle Fuhrman, Katherine McNamara, Haskiri Velasquez and Dagmara Domi?czyk.

The 24 Hour Plays have been running similar events on Broadway, off-Broadway, in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, London, Dublin and other cities around the world since 1995.

Past participants in the time-limited theater happenings have included Jennifer Aniston, Laverne Cox, Billy Crudup, Rosario Dawson, Daveed Diggs, Peter Dinklage, 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 and Naomi Watts.

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