The 24 Hour Plays Launch Surprise Second Round of Viral Monologues

Daveed Diggs, Nicholas Braun, Michael Shannon, Christopher Mintz-Plasse - Getty - Split - H 2020
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Daveed Diggs, Nicholas Braun, Michael Shannon and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are among actors on board for the overnight theater experiment, with writers this time including Eric Bogosian, Bekah Brunstetter and Kristoffer Diaz.

One of the more popular experiments in instant online theater cooked up in response to the coronavirus pandemic, The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues has pulled together a surprise second round, going live tonight.

Josh Hamilton, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Oscar nominee Michael Shannon, Hamilton Tony winner Daveed Diggs and breakout Succession regular Nicholas Braun are among the 24 actors who have signed on for phase two of the time-limited theater event, along with The Good Place's William Jackson Harper, Agents of SHIELD's Clark Gregg, veteran character actor Marylouise Burke and husband and wife Dylan and Becky Ann Baker.

The first Viral Monologues edition launched March 17 on IGTV @24HourPlays and, with a lineup featuring Hugh Dancy, Rachel Dratch, Andre Royo, Denis O'Hare, Tavi Gevinson, Marin Ireland and Patrick Wilson, among others. The videos generated more than 100,000 views.

As with that initial run, all of which was conceived, written, performance-captured and released within the span of a single day, the actors at 6 p.m. PT last night shared brief orientation-style videos to allow the writers to get to know them. By 7 p.m., playwrights and actors were paired up, the pieces were then crafted overnight and delivered to the cast by 10 a.m. today, with filming to be carried out throughout the day.

The new monologues will drop this evening from 6 p.m. PT through midnight, one every 15 minutes.

"The world changed this week and The 24 Hour Plays did too," said artistic director Mark Armstrong in a statement today. "We've always made work about the most challenging moments in our lives, from 9/11 to Hurricane Sandy to the 2016 election, but writing and performing new plays in 24 hours without gathering was a singular challenge. We hope this moment offers even more people the chance to learn about our small nonprofit theater organization, so that we'll be able to continue our unique artistic work for years to come."

First-round writers David Lindsay-Abaire, Stephen Adly Guirgis and Lily Houghton will return for the follow-up, joined by Jonathan Marc Sherman, Will Arbery, Kristoffer Diaz, Eric Bogosian, Bekah Brunstetter, Clare Barron, Sofya Levitsky-Weitz, Dan O'Brien, Sarah Gancher, J. Holtham, Gracie Gardner, Aaron Wigdor Levy, Gabe McKinley, Anya Richkind, Charly Evon Simpson, Tracey Scott Wilson, Tim J. Lord, Elizabeth Irwin, Alena Smith and Joseph Dougherty.

Completing the lineup of actors is Coral Peña, muMs, Kelly Aucoin, Ashley Fink, Jessica St. Clair, Juliana Canfield, Anna Baryshnikov, Ryan Haddad, Daniel K. Isaac, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Ty Defoe, Noah Galvin, Damon Gupton and Danny Pudi.

The 24 Hour Plays has been running fast-theater events since 1995 in New York, Los Angeles and other cities around the world, with participants including Jennifer Aniston, Laverne Cox, Peter Dinklage, Edie Falco, America Ferrera, Greta Gerwig, Oscar Isaac, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie, Julianne Moore, Chris Rock and Sarah Silverman.