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Danny Boyle will direct an all-star lineup that includes Charlize Theron, Susan Sarandon, James McAvoy and Ewan McGregor in The Children’s Monologues, an evening of powerful testimonials by young people from rural South African townships, adapted for the stage by some of the world’s leading playwrights.
The one-night-only event is set for Nov. 13 at New York’s Carnegie Hall, which is teaming with African-based creative arts charity Dramatic Need on the benefit.
Also among those interpreting the experiences of children growing up in the small township of Rammulotsi will be Trevor Noah, Audra McDonald, Daniel Kaluuya, Lena Dunham and Hamilton alums Daveed Diggs and Javier Munoz.
The children were invited to describe an unforgettable day in their life, resulting in testimonials that range from harrowing to uplifting. Their words will be adapted by playwrights including two-time Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage, Neil LaBute, Tom Stoppard, David Hare, Jack Thorne, Dominique Morisseau, Laura Wade, Yael Farber and James Graham.
“These stories capture some extraordinary moments in the lives of these kids,” Dramatic Need trustee Boyle said in a statement. “There is something so powerful about their words — the simple humanity of them — that creates an intimate connection between each actor and the audience, across thousands of miles, across continents, race, age, income and gender. The effect is to transport all of us in the theater to the townships and into these children’s shoes.”
Boyle directed two previous stagings in London of The Children’s Monologues, most recently at the Royal Court Theatre in 2015, with a cast that included Nicole Kidman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and McAvoy. The Carnegie Hall event will be the work’s U.S. premiere.
Proceeds from the gala will jointly benefit the creative arts programs of Dramatic Need and Carnegie Hall’s artistic, education and social impact programs.
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