The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway: Our Students Report!
On November 12th, students of Urban Arts Partnerships Academy Theater program, Life Stories, had the opportunity to sit in on rehearsals for The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway and write about what they saw. Here are their thoughts!
WOW is something I can say right off the bat. Did I just experience that? Did I just see one of my favorite actresses? Best believe I did! All thanks to Urban Arts Partnership. I love this program so much. It brought me way closer to my passion, which is acting. Not only did they give me a chance to perform on an off-Broadway stage, but I learn more and more each class with Julia & Franks help.
Some of my classmates and I were offered to attend the rehearsals of, “The 24 Hour Plays” at the American Airlines Theatre, where there were movie stars including, Vanessa Hudgens, America Ferrera, Jason Biggs , Eddie K. and more. As we watched the plays that we were assigned to, we would take notes and observe on how they rehearse.
At 11am, when I first received my play, the first thing I did was read it and find the genre and the characters objectives and almost immediately, it’s time to see their first rehearsal! It was exciting watching Vanessa Hudgens act on a Broadway stage instead of on TV. She was having fun with the script and that’s how I feel like it should always be. When I was in The 24 Hour Plays I was just so focused on trying to remember my lines! I was nervous since it was my first time, but at the end of the day you’re suppose to enjoy the play as much as the audience and the directors do. I didn’t realize how hard The 24 Hour Plays were for the directors. So it’s good to see their smiles after the entire finished product.
When I watched the plays I started to notice that these movie stars make mistakes as well! I don’t know about you, but I felt if they were on TV, they would be perfect on stage. But no, they had their laughs and their mistakes, which made me realize acting is a really hard thing to do and that it’s ok to always make mistakes because it will get you to improve more and more.
I really appreciate Urban Arts Partnership for letting me experience such great opportunities, Thank you so much! I had a great time.
While everyone was on stage rehearsing their lines and figuring out the blocking for “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing”, written by Adam Bock, starring America Ferrara, Rachel Dratch, Jason Biggs, and Eddie K. Thomas, I was sitting in the audience observing their every move. It’s only several hours before The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway starts, but I noticed how comfortable they were on stage. It seemed like everything came so natural to them; even through their first run when the director corrected them and he kept throwing out new ideas in order to make the scene look better. The cast members didn’t complain or give attitude they just listened and followed orders. They worked well together and cooperated with each other, which made the scene funnier and very interesting to watch.
I’ve had a love for acting ever since I was a very young girl. Watching others that feel the same as I do brings me a sense of comfort to want to continue to pursue my dreams as an actress. It is an amazing feeling to be able to get on stage in front of an audience and be someone else. You can be poor, rich, a teacher, an astronaut, a doctor, a child, an adult the stage brings so much to life. The scene that they worked on brought zombies to life with a twist of romance. My favorite line was when Julie who is played by Rachel Dratch tells Alison that she is going on a date and Alison says, “J dating?” Julie says, “No I’m Z dating” This is when Alison figured out that Julie was going out with a Zombie.
After the first run through I was able to catch them on their lunch break and ask them a few questions. I asked Jason Biggs if he preferred to work in theater or film, and he replied “They both have its benefits but something about theatre not having edited performances that makes it exciting.” When asked what he liked best about the project, he says he likes the opportunity to support the youth, which is a great feeling. I also approached America Ferrara with the same questions and her reply was “The 24 Hour Plays are fun and a great experience that helps you think on your toes. It is also a great cause” I then asked her if she was more comfortable with comedy roles or dramatic roles. She stated, “I am comfortable with both, but it is always great to spend a day with laughs.”
As a student of the Urban Arts/ Life Stories I am proud of what I have learned and all of the people I have met. I have many friends from different areas in NYC that I may not have met without this program. Watching my development and the development of others is inspirational. Learning the do’s and don’ts of acting and theatre language that I am unable to obtain in an ordinary school environment; makes me appreciate the experience of The 24 Hour Plays even more.
Recently, iʼve gotten the chance to see the rehearsal process big time actors take while getting ready for The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway. The 24 Hour Plays happen in one day, and from beginning til the end, every moment spent around actors and directors was incredible. My teacher Julia Grob gave us helpful tips on how to approach actors and take notes on their rehearsal.
I first walk into the theater early Monday morning. Everything is still quiet. I get the script ill be working on. it was a comedy, ironically one about Sam Rockwell who was one of the actors in the play. The play was called “Reservation for Rockwell” by Johnathan Marc Sherman. The cast consisted of great actors: Justin Long, Billy Crudup, Olivia Wilde, and Sam Rockwell. I was honored being able to see the process it took for them bring the script to life on stage. Seeing how they all connected on stage amazed me.
Rehearsal is very important during The 24 Hour Plays for the actors and directors. There isn’t much time on stage for every detail to be perfected. This is why you need to be focused at all times. While I was taking notes, all thoughout the rehearsal the actors were laughing, but I still noticed how hard working they were. I remember hearing the cast before their first rehearsal on stage saying “Own It”. And to be honest, they did! They were on top of their lines and cues. Second rehearsal was quick because they were focused, I saw how each actor took directions very well as the director gave them, especially bringing the characters from the writing to life.
I didn’t get the chance to ask them questions because even on their break they were going over lines and making sure they became the character as best as possible. Being able to experience the The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway opened my eyes. The cast worked very hard in bringing the characters to life. Through out their process from getting the scripts, to rehearsing to the stage, I saw them grow and develop skills towards their final performance.