On Stage and On the Edge
Photo by Rob Kalmbach
Between the writing, casting and rehearsing, a typical star-studded theatrical production can take years to develop before it ever hits the stage. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say.
This month, however, 24 actors, six writers, six directors and two musical guests will prove otherwise for the fourth annual 24 Hour Plays: Los Angeles (June 20; 8 P.M.). Held at the Broad Stage theater at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, the showcase benefits Urban Arts Partnership (UAP) (urbanarts.org), an arts-education organization working in more than a hundred underserved schools in New York and Los Angeles.
The talent—which includes boldface names like Glee star Ashley Fink; actress (and UAP artistic board chair) Rosie Perez; Emmy Award winner Ben Karlin, a writer for The Colbert Report; and Rob Greenberg, director of How I Met Your Mother—will create and perform six original ten-minute plays, all in 24 hours. Two students from L.A.’s ArTES High School, where UAP teaching artists work with classroom educators to bring arts into the curriculum, will also join the cast for the marathon event, which is sponsored by Montblanc. (Gillian Jacobs, Anna Camp, Wilmer Valderrama and Skylar Astin [pictured above, from left] worked together last year.)
“The 24 Hour Plays epitomizes the creative process,” explains UAP CEO Philip Courtney, listing motivation, persistence, critical thinking, collaboration and fearlessness as the keys to succeeding onstage. “It has been proven that these exact five qualities are what a young person develops as a result of having arts education in their lives. UAP develops the next creative thinkers, problem solvers and community leaders.”
“It always ends up being such a fun event,” says Sin City actress Jamie Chung, who is participating this year. “I’m a nervous wreck 23 out of the 24 hours, but there’s no better feeling. Plus, we are supporting Urban Arts—and they always throw a great after-party.” At 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; tickets, from $200; urbanarts.tix.com; for information on exclusive-access packages (from $500), contact firstname.lastname@example.org.