This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

5May/20

THE HOMEBOUND PROJECT: THEATER FOR THE FRONT LINE

homebound

Who: Christopher Abbott, Glenn Davis, William Jackson Harper, Jessica Hecht, Marin Ireland, Raymond Lee, Alison Pill, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Thomas Sadoski, Amanda Seyfried, more
What: New online theatrical works to benefit No Kid Hungry
Where: Link supplied by the Homebound Project upon donation
When: May 6-10, 20-24, June 3-7, $10 or more, 7:00
Why: With audiences, playwrights, actors, directors, teachers, students, and most everyone else sheltering in place with theaters and schools closed, playwright Catya McMullen and director Jenna Worsham have come up with a unique program to bring works to a play-starved populace while also raising money for children in need. The Homebound Project pairs playwrights and actors in works created specifically for this time, performed from wherever everyone is hunkering down during the pandemic. From May 6 to 10, May 20 to 24, and June 3 to 7, ten short plays by ten playwrights performed by ten actors will stream for a limited time. To get the key to the virtual doorway, you have to make a minimum donation of $10 for each section; all proceeds go to the national nonprofit No Kid Hungry, which, as part of Share Our Strength, seeks to solve poverty and hunger issues around the country, and especially right now amid a terrible crisis. Worsham said in a statement, “The Homebound Project grew from a desire to support frontline organizations by doing what we artists do best: creating and gathering, in newly imagined ways. Our mission is to provide sustenance: critical provisions for those in need, an opportunity for isolated artists to collaborate, and (we hope) a way for audiences to access the communal empathy that theater provokes.”

The first ten actor/playwright combinations have been announced, and the list is beyond impressive, dealing with the theme of “home”: Christopher Abbott (James White, The Rose Tattoo)/Lucy Thurber (The Insurgents, Transfers), Glenn Davis (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow)/Ren Dara Santiago (Siblings, Something in the Balete Tree), William Jackson Harper (An Octoroon, The Good Place)/Max Posner (Sisters on the Ground, Snore), Jessica Hecht (The Assembled Parties, Fiddler on the Roof)/Sarah Ruhl (In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play; How to Transcend a Happy Marriage), Marin Ireland (On the Exhale, Ironbound)/Eliza Clark (The Metaphysics of Breakfast, Edgewise), Raymond Lee (Tokyo Fish Story, Vietgone)/Qui Nguyen (Living Dead in Denmark, Vietgone), Alison Pill (Three Tall Women, Blackbird)/C. A. Johnson (All the Natalie Portmans, Thirst), Elizabeth Rodriguez (Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, The Motherfucker with the Hat)/Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Describe the Night), Thomas Sadoski (Other Desert Cities, reasons to be pretty)/Martyna Majok (Cost of Living, Ironbound), and Amanda Seyfried (Big Love, Mamma Mia!)/Catya McMullen (Everything Is Probably Going to Be Okay, A**holes in Gas Stations). Each section will be available from 7:00 pm of the first day to 7:00 pm of the last day, after which the link will be taken down. The participants for round two, which will examine “sustenance,” are Uzo Aduba/Anne Washburn, Nicholas Braun/Will Arbery, Utkarsh Ambudkar/Marco Ramirez, Betty Gilpin/Lily Houghton, Kimberly Hébert Gregory/Loy A. Webb, Hari Nef/Ngozi Anyanwu, Mary-Louise Parker/Bryna Turner, Christopher Oscar Peña/Brittany K. Allen, Zachary Quinto/Adam Bock, Taylor Schilling/Sarah DeLappe, and Babak Tafti/David Zheng; among those expected for the third segments are actors André Holland, Joshua Leonard, Ashley Park, and Will Pullen and playwrights John Guare and Daniel Talbott, so it’s hard to go wrong, especially for this cause and with donations starting at a mere ten bucks. (Feel free to give more if you can.) Rachel Sabella, director of No Kid Hungry in New York, explained, “In New York City alone, kids in need are missing nearly 850,000 school meals every day while schools are closed because of the coronavirus. We have a plan to feed kids, but the need is great, and it’s going to take all of us — actors, cafeteria staff, elected officials, everyday people — to offer the time, talent, and resources to reach them.”

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