Friday, March 10, 2017

Cool Show Announcement: THE 24 HOUR PLAYS

THE 24 HOUR PLAYS is coming to Minneapolis for the first time, and it looks to be a doozy of a show. #24HRMPLS


Photo courtesy of Hennepin Theatre Trust.

Are you a fan of improv? Observing the creative process? Making the magic happen? Are you an artist or creative who needs a little inspiration?

If so, you really need to run to the Pantages Theater on Monday night to see THE 24 HOUR PLAYS, which is coming to Minneapolis for the first time (it's previously been held in New York City, Los Angeles, London, Chicago, Dublin, and Germany).

Photo courtesy of Hennepin Theatre Trust.

The concept of THE 24 HOUR PLAYS is simple: get the best of the best in theater to come together for one day only to create and perform completely original works and use the proceeds to give back to good causes. For the Minneapolis event there are a series of 40 of the Twin Cities all-star local actors, directors and writers; two all-star high school students; and two celebrities (Melissa Gilbert, known from her work in The Little House on the Prairie television show; and Timothy Busfield, a veteran director and producer of dozens of television shows such as The West Wing, Entourage, and Lipstick Jungle) participating. What do I mean by all-star actors? Just LOOK at this cast list - it practically reads as a "who's who" of Twin Cities theater:

Photo courtesy of Hennepin Theatre Trust.

Sasha Andreev, Michelle Barber, Denzel Belin, Warren C. Bowles, Michael Brindisi, Cat Brindisi, Serena Brook, Timothy Busfield, Nicholas Freeman, Melissa Gilbert, Osh Ghanimah, Michael Gruber, Devin Kelley, Justin Kirk, Ryan McCartan, Tyler Michaels, Ann Michels, Kasano Mwanza, Hope Nordquist, Tod Petersen, Kory Pullam, Stacia Rice, Tim Sitarz, Ricardo Vasquez, Tony Vierling, Tatiana Williams, Sally Wingert; directors Jamil Jude, Lauren Keating, Christy Montour-Larson, Peter Rothstein, Bill Payne; writers Alan Berks, Michael Elyanow,Julia Jordan, Christina Ham, Harrison Heather Meyer. David Rivers; musical guest David Darrow.  The cast also includes Rachel Williams (Apple Valley) and Reese Britts (Andover), students at UMD School of Fine Arts and former Spotlight Education Triple Threat Award winners.

Photo courtesy of Hennepin Theatre Trust.

This incredible group of thespians will split into six distinctive teams on Sunday night and collaborate over the next 24 hours to create a distinctive play to perform the next evening. The process begins with the actors presenting possible props to inspire the writers. The writers then break to create their scripts; the following morning, the directors will "bid" the scripts they want to work on, which are then rehearsed throughout the day and performed in the evening. Throughout the process the writers vie for various actors to perform their pieces, helping divide the casting out.

Photo courtesy of Hennepin Theatre Trust.

Monday, March 13 at 8 p.m., the public will attend the performances of the six shows at the Pantages Theater for one-time only. Unfortunately the creation and rehearsal process isn't open to public viewing, but don't be dismayed: if you're interested in being a fly on the wall and following the process, several members of the Twin Cities Theater Blogger crew will be on-hand to live blog the entire 24 hours on social media. Tickets to Monday's performance range from $35 to $50, with all proceeds going to support the Hennepin Theatre Trust's Spotlight Education program, which helps provide theatrical opportunities for high school students across Minnesota.

Photo courtesy of Hennepin Theatre Trust.

The concept behind THE 24 HOUR PLAYS is straightforward, but don't think it's easy. As a creator myself, I can attest: writer's block is a real thing, and the idea of writing, rehearsing and producing an entire show from start to finish in less than a day absolutely blows my mind. I am so excited to see this unique art form come to Minneapolis, and I can't wait to see what the artists produce. Please join me! Come see the show on Monday, March 13 at the Pantages Theater in Minneapolis at 8 p.m. You can find more information and purchase tickets by clicking on this link. And if you can't go but want to follow along, have no fear - you can just follow the hashtag #24HRMPLS to see all the inside scoop on social media.