MCC THEATER ANNOUNCES VIRTUAL EVENTS, LIVE LABS AND SPECIAL BENEFIT READING OF “BEIRUT” WITH MARISA TOMEI AND OSCAR ISAAC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
“MCC VIRTUAL EVENTS”
THE NEW ONLINE ARM OF THE THEATER’S PROGRAMMING
LAUNCHING TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 7.30PM
WITH SPECIAL BENEFIT PLAY READING OF
ALAN BOWNE’S “BEIRUT”
STARRING MARISA TOMEI AND OSCAR ISAAC
CONTINUING ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 5PM
WITH MCC ‘LIVE LABS: ONE ACT’ PLAY WEEKLY SERIES
PLAYWRIGHTS INCLUDE AZIZA BARNES, MATHEW LOPEZ, PETER HEDGES AND ROBERT ASKINS
New York, NY (April 22, 2020)– MCC Theater (Bob LuPone, Bernie Telsey, and Will Cantler, Artistic Directors; Blake West, Executive Director) announced today the creation of MCC VIRTUAL EVENTS, the new online arm of MCC Theater programming during this period of compulsorily social distancing, and beyond.
Kicking off this new program will be a special ‘MCC VIRTUAL TV’ benefit play reading of Alan Bowne’s acclaimed Beirut starring Marisa Tomei and Oscar Isaac, on Tuesday, April 28 at 7:30 PM. In Beirut, Tomei reprises her award-winning performance from 1987 when she appeared in MCC Theater’s One Act Play Festival. The reading also features a cameo by MCC founding member Patrick Breen. Beirut will be streamed via StreamYard to the MCC YouTube platform. A limited number of tickets will be available for $5.00 each. Additional tickets will be allocated and available at $15.00 and $25.00, on a first-come, first-served basis.
All ticket proceeds of this benefit reading will be received as a donation to MCC Theater, and ticket buyers are encouraged to give an additional donation at check-out. All donations given at this time will go towards the MCC “Be Our Light” Campaign and will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the MCC Board, to help the Theater now, and with preparations for the coming 20/21 Season. All information and tickets can be found at mcctheater.org/be-our-light-campaign
Marisa Tomei says “A few weeks ago, as our shared experience of the new “normal” sunk in, isolated from loved ones, I couldn’t stop thinking about Alan Bowne’s moving and prescient play, Beirut. Creating the role of Blue in 1987 for MCC’s one-act festival was an experience that I’ve long treasured at a time that felt like both MCC and I were both ‘being born’. There are obvious parallels between the ‘plague’ in the play, and the situation we are experiencing now. When I reached out to MCC to connect over the somewhat prophetic nature of the play, the discussion sparked ideas, and this reading was born. I’m thrilled to revisit this piece, which was such an important part of both mine and MCC’s formative years, and to work alongside this theater company in these difficult times.”
“Allan Bowne’s Beirut is the play that launched MCC in 1987,” commented MCC Co-Artistic Director Bernie Telsey. “When Melissa approached us with the idea of a reprisal of the work for a pandemic benefit reading, we were thrilled to receive the perfectly timed suggestion. Beirut’s focus on love during a plague reminds us of the power of stories, and the role they play in fostering hope, solidarity and documentation. As we push to embrace a digital version of an art form we cherish so dearly, a live internet televised reading of the visceral and topical Beirut emerged as an obvious choice to launch MCC Theater’s digital programming offer. MCC Theater will continue to tell stories and build solidarity over the coming months with a series of play-readings, performances, panels and interactive experiences. We see this time as an opportunity to expand our mission of gathering community and enhancing creative connection.”
Also inspired by MCC’s One Act Play Festival is a new series of weekly play readings called LIVE LABS: ONE ACT, happening each Wednesday at 5pm from May 13 for at least five weeks. Each week, one act, under 45 minutes in length from one playwright, will be read and live-streamed for free to the MCC Theater audience. Participating playwrights including Aziza Barnes, Mathew Lopez, Peter Hedges, and Robert Askins. The readings of new or existing acts aim to fulfill MCC’s mission to spark conversations that may not otherwise happen. Scheduling and streaming platform details to follow.
Numerous other MCC Theater digital initiatives are already in full swing. Every Thursday MCC Theater hosts either an Open Mic Night (April 23, 8pm) or the organization’s “Creative in Quarantine” sessions (next April 30, 11am) which calls artists to come together and support each other in creation of new work. Also happening tomorrow Thursday April 23 at 6pm is ‘The Art of Resilience’ panel discussion, where leaders from four theater institutions discuss how they are charting their course through the COVID-19 crisis. Panelists include Will Cantler, co-Artistic Director of MCC Theater; Jelani Bruckner, Managing Director of The Billie Holiday Theatre; Jonathan McCrory, Artistic Director of The National Black Theater; and John Sheehy, the Director Institutional Advancement for The 52nd Street Project. These events can be found at mcctheater.org/tix/what-were-up-to
The MCC Education Program continues online. MCC’s Youth Company continues to give young up and coming actors and creatives the chance to create and experience theater and the arts through discussions, performances and mentoring.
ABOUT MCC THEATER
MCC Theater is one of New York’s leading nonprofit Off-Broadway companies, driven by a mission to provoke conversations that have never happened and otherwise never would. Founded in 1986 as a collective of artists leading peer-based classes to support their own development as actors, writers, and directors, the tenets of collaboration, education, and community are at the core of MCC Theater’s programming. One of the only theaters in the country led continuously by its founders, Artistic Directors Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, and William Cantler, MCC fulfills its mission through the production of world, American, and New York premiere plays and musicals that challenge artists and audiences to confront contemporary personal and social issues and robust playwright development and education initiatives that foster the next generation of theater artists and students.
MCC Theater’s celebrated productions include Theresa Rebeck’s Seared, Jocelyn Bioh’s School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play; Penelope Skinner’s The Village Bike; Robert Askins’s Hand to God (Broadway transfer; five 2015 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play); John Pollono’s Small Engine Repair; Paul Downs Colaizzo’s Really Really; Sharr White’s The Other Place (Broadway transfer); Jeff Talbott’s The Submission (Laurents/Hatcher Award); Neil LaBute’s Reasons to Be Happy, reasons to be pretty (Broadway transfer, three 2009 Tony Award® nominations, including Best Play), Some Girl(s), Fat Pig, The Mercy Seat, and All The Ways To Say I Love You; Michael Weller’s Fifty Words; Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride; Bryony Lavery’s Frozen (Broadway transfer; four 2004 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play, Tony Award® for Best Featured Actor); Tim Blake Nelson’s The Grey Zone; Rebecca Gilman’s The Glory of Living (2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist); Margaret Edson’s Wit (1999 Pulitzer Prize); and the musicals Coraline, Carrie, Ride the Cyclone, Alice By Heart, and The Wrong Man. Many plays developed and produced by MCC have gone on to productions throughout the country and around the world.
Blake West joined the company in 2006 as Executive Director. MCC opened the doors to its new home in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, on January 9, 2019, unifying the company’s activities under one roof for the first time and expanding its producing, artist development, and education programming.
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