An off-shoot of the popular annual series in New York City, The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals—the program for artists 25 and under—has been cultivating the future of theatrical talent since 2013.
As fans of the series know, every year beginning at 10 PM, writers create entirely new works inspired by objects brought to the collaborative event by participants. By 6 AM the next day, the plays are finished, cast, and in rehearsal prior to an 8 PM curtain. This year, Nationals presented five new plays and an original musical August 12 at Off-Broadway's Theatre Row—and also invited young theatremakers to participate in a weekend of free workshops, panels, and more, as part of the skill-building in an effort to ensure the prosperity of their creative endeavors.
The Class of 2019 included 24 performers, six playwrights, six directors, seven producers, and one composer.
The evening featured new plays Good Vibes Only by Natalie Lin; Johanna’s Cancer Fundraiser at the 2nd Largest Roller Rink in America! by Juliet Roll; FFA by Marley Brin Smith; Monster House by Rachel Calnek-Sugin; What Is Your Name??? by Jane Lindstrom; and Alexa the Musical with book and lyrics by Elise Wien, music and lyrics by Jonah Bobo.
Actors included Hailey Baird, Alex Bartner, Romy Bavli, Avigail Bryer, Georgia Kate Cohen, Gracie Connell, India Derewetzky, Carolyn Friedman, Brendan George, Carina Goebelbecker, Taylor Harvey, Jonathan Horton, Alaina Kai, Jessie Klueter, Robert Leverett, Zoe Liu, Alejandra Mangini, Brittney McHugh, Ella Mora, Kelly Ng, Kezie Nwachuku, Phanesia Pharel, Henry Sheeran, and Bianca Waechter, along with directors Emily Brown (Alexa the Musical), Kathleen Capdesuner (FFA), Peter Charney (Johanna’s...), Michael Herwitz (Good Vibes Only), Anya Josephs (What Is Your Name???), and Maggie Monahan (Monster House); producers included Rachel Andres, Abigail Jean-Baptiste, Cassidy Delaney Kepp, Maddie Milligan, Mona Moriya, Dayana Isabel Sanchez, and Leah Vicenio.
Notable Nationals alumni include actress Coral Peña (24: Legacy, The Post); Lincoln Center Playwright in Residence Korde Arrington Tuttle; Humana Festival playwrights Dave Harris (Everybody Black), Mara Nelson-Greenberg (Do You Feel Anger?) and Liliana Padilla (How to Defend Yourself), Drama Desk-nominated director Taylor Reynolds, and actors Kevin Kantor, Bobby Moreno, and Zoe Perry, among others.