February 23, 2017

JUSTIN KIRK, DEVIN KELLEY, JOEL McKINNON MILLER and RYAN McCARTAN lead an all-star cast of national and Twin Cities artists including Sally Wingert, Tyler Michaels, Warren Bowles, Serena Brook, Michelle Barber, Michael Brindisi and more

 Special guest stars announcement coming soon!

Six playwrights, six directors and 24 actors come together to create and perform six plays in 24 hours; event supports Spotlight Education and UMD Theatre Scholarships

MINNEAPOLIS—In celebration of the historic Pantages Theatre’s 100th anniversary, Hennepin Theatre Trust and the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) School of Fine Arts are partnering to support emerging musical theatre talent in Minnesota by presenting the premiere of THE 24 HOUR PLAYS®. The one-night-only event brings together the extraordinary talent of local and nationally-known artists to create six new theatrical plays within 24 hours which will be performed on Monday, March 13 at 8 p.m. at the Pantages Theatre (710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis).

Proceeds support Spotlight Education, the Trust’s flagship education program that engages Minnesota high schools and students in the performing arts and UMD Theatre Scholarships for students enrolled in the UMD Theatre program.

The unique theatrical experience stars a cast led by stage and screen actors with Minnesota ties. Justin Kirk (“APB”/Fox, “Weeds”/ Showtime, “Angels in America”/HBO) moved to Minnesota when he was 12 years old and appeared in productions at Children’s Theatre Company. Devin Kelley (“Frequency”/The CW, “Resurection”/ABC) began acting and singing as a child and graduated from Eastview High School in Apple Valley. Joel McKinnon Miller (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”/FOX, Super 8, directed by J.J. Abrams) is a native of Rockford and attended UMD where he studied theatre. Ryan McCartan (“The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again”/FOX) was born and raised in Minnesota and participated in the Spotlight Education program when he attended Minnetonka High School.

Two special guest star performers will be announced on Monday, Feb. 27.

Ticket prices start at $49.00. All pricing includes a Building Restoration Fee of $4.00. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $154 which include premium seating, a pre-show VIP reception and admission to the post-show cast party; VIP tickets for $79 include admission to the post-show cast party.

Tickets are on sale now at the State Theatre Box Office (805 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis), by calling (800) 982-2787 or by clicking to HennepinTheatreTrust.org.

Six playwrights, six directors, 24 actors and a musical guest create six short plays in the course of a single day — and perform them in front of a live audience at the Pantages Theatre. The performance will feature some of the hottest theatrical talent in the Twin Cities, as well as nationally recognized performers from Broadway, film and television. The actors, directors and writers graciously volunteer their time and talent to produce this exciting evening.

The cast and creative team of THE 24 HOUR PLAYS includes actors: Sasha Andreev, Michelle Barber, Denzel Belin, Warren C. Bowles, Michael Brindisi, Cat Brindisi, Serena Brook, Osh Ghanimah, Michael Gruber, Devin Kelley, Justin Kirk, Ryan McCartan, Joel McKinnon Miller, Tyler Michaels, Ann Michels, Kasano Mwanza, Hope Nordquist, Tod Petersen, Kory Pullam, Stacia Rice, Tim Sitarz, Tony Vierling, Tatiana Williams, Sally Wingert; directors Jamil Jude, Lauren Keating, Christy Montour-Larson, Peter Rothstein, Bill Payne; writers Alan Berks, Julia Jordan, Heather Jean Meyer, Christina Ham, Harrison David Rivers; musical guest David Darrow.

The cast also includes will Rachel Williams (Apple Valley) and Reese Britts (Andover). Both actors are students at UMD School of Fine Arts and former Spotlight Education Triple Threat Award winners.

On Sunday, March 12, the actors, directors and writers gather in the evening at the Pantages. The actors present their props and the writers get inspired. The writers vie for the actors they want to work with and stay up all night writing six new plays. The following day, the directors begin in the morning and choose the play they want to direct. Once the actors find out their roles, rehearsals begin and take place throughout the day. Following a short run-through in the afternoon, the curtain rises with the debut of six new plays.

THE 24 HOUR PLAYS is a nonprofit, NYC-based production team that raises millions of dollars for charities across the world by engaging teams of artists to create short theatrical works in 24 hours. This is the first time THE 24 HOUR PLAYS is being performed in Minnesota. Previous engagements include Broadway, London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dublin and Germany.

“For 21 years, we’ve produced The 24 Hour Plays on and off Broadway, in London and Los Angeles and in theaters around the world. I’m especially delighted to bring the show to my home state of Minnesota for the first time,” said Mark Armstrong, the executive director for THE 24 HOUR PLAYS, and UMD alum. “The 24 Hour Plays offer artists the chance to respond quickly and powerfully to these unsettling times, as well as raise needed funds to support young artists.

Armstrong was a scholarship recipient at UMD and believes that this support was critical to his career in professional theater. “Financially supporting arts education is so important, both for these young artists and for the American theater’s future vibrancy and diversity,” said Armstrong.

THE 24 HOUR PLAYS is made possible by United Properties with additional support from Sun Country Airlines, Jimmy John’s, Priority Courier Experts, Sherman Associates and Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.

HENNEPIN THEATRE TRUST is a nonprofit organization that creates positive change through the arts by bringing together people, businesses and organizations in WeDo™, the West Downtown MPLS Cultural District. We serve the community through our four theatres – the Orpheum, State, Pantages and New Century – and our unique arts, culture and education programs. Learn more at HennepinTheatreTrust.org and wedompls.org.

UMD SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS (DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE) provides academic and professional training in the theatre arts, is housed in the Marshall Performing Arts Center (MPAC), which includes a 550-seat flexible thrust/proscenium theatre, a black-box experimental theatre, fully equipped scenic and costume shops, computerized lighting control, digital and analog audio playback stations and studio space for acting, dance and design.

The Department of Theatre offers two majors: a Theatre Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Theatre Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). In addition, we offer minors in dance, theatre and film studies.

Throughout the year, UMD Theatre offers a variety of shows for the public.

THE 24 HOUR PLAYS® bring together extraordinary artists to create time-limited theater around the world. In addition to The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway and The 24 Hour Musicals in New York City, regular events take place in London, Los Angeles, Dublin, Germany, Athens, Helsinki, Mexico City and Florence. Through collaborations with organizations including The Old Vic Theatre, Dublin Youth Theatre, Urban Arts Partnership, Cornerstone Theater Company, The Orchard Project, Bennington College and The Del Sole Foundation, The 24 Hour Company’s productions have raised millions of dollars for charities.