New Sanctuary Coalition is thrilled to be partnering with 24 Hour Plays to share the stories of twelve Friends navigating this unprecedented moment.
Celebrated playwrights were paired with Friends to hear their stories over live calls this past week. Overnight, the playwrights wrote brand-new monologues based on the interviews, which were in turn recorded by professional actors.The result is a powerful edition of the Viral Monologues, airing right now on IGTV @24hourplays, on The 24 Hour Plays’ Facebook and YouTubechannels, and on the 24 Hour Plays site. Starting at 6 p.m. on August 25, new monologues will be launched every 15 minutes.
This week’s extraordinary cast includes Jonathan Burke, Sean Carvajal, Brandon Espinoza, Alex Hernandez, Danny Hoch, Rachel Leslie, Joél Pérez, Emma Ramos, Tony Sancho, Raviv Ullman, and Ana Villafañe. They will perform original works by Matt Barbot, Juliette Carrillo, Donna Clovis, Michael John Garcés, Dylan Guerra, Tony Meneses, Julián Mesri, Elaine Romero, Jesse J. Sanchez, Tamara Sevunts and Caridad Svich.
“No one wants to be incarcerated, but as an ‘alternative to detention,’ ankle monitors – what ICE calls ‘GPS units’ and our Friends call ‘shackles’ – are a walking jail,” said Ambien Mitchell, Accompaniment Coordinator for New Sanctuary Coalition. “Frequent check-ins in nondescript office buildings, telephone calls at all hours, the deafening alarm when the battery goes low and you’re sitting on the bus, the constant low hum and vibration of electrical current coursing through your body, the promise that maybe it’ll get removed if you surrender your passport but then having your passport held as a threat – all of this and more is psychological imprisonment, manipulation, torture. And there is no bond fund, no amount of money, that will get that shackle off. But what has worked is persistent accompaniment, witnessing, and relentless pressure from NSC staff, volunteers, and faith leaders.”
“Every day, I talk to Friends in detention and their families. What I hear would break your heart,” said Andres Jimenez, NSC (anti)Detention Coordinator. “Some of our Friends are locked in their cells for 20 or more hours a day, they have no soap or cleaning supplies, they’re really sick and getting no medical attention. We give our Friends reason to hope, and help figure out how to get their cases heard so bond can be set. If they cannot afford to, we pay their bond through the NSC L.I.F.E. Bond Fund. It’s really important that we are with them for the long haul – once they’re liberated. We provide help and community through the pro se clinic, our weekly community meeting. The social work team makes sure they get connected to health care, housing, and other programs. NSC Friends are never alone in their fight.”
"We are honored to apply The 24 Hour Plays unique creative process in service of the New Sanctuary Coalition's urgently important mission,” said Mark Armstrong, artistic director of The 24 Hour Plays. “Our work offers artists the opportunity to respond immediately to the world around us and these stories from the New Sanctuary Coalition's community of Friends are given powerful voice by a remarkable group of playwrights and actors. We hope that our partnership brings meaningful attention to the real human beings whose lives are being impacted by ICE incarceration and electronic incarceration."
On Monday night at 6 PM, actors shared brief orientation-style videos that allowed the writers to get to know them better. By 7 PM, writers and actors were paired, and writers went to work on crafting new monologues especially for their assigned actors, highlighting the experiences of their Friends. Actors received their monologues this morning and are filming their performances throughout the day. At 6 PM the video monologues will begin to be released to the world, completing the 24-hour cycle.
The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues are produced by Coleman Ray Clark and Madelyn Paquette. The artistic director of The 24 Hour Plays is Mark Armstrong.
The 24 Hour Plays are known for their work on Broadway, off-Broadway and around the world. Since 1995, their events have brought together extraordinary artists to create time-limited theater. Past participants including Jennifer Aniston, Laverne Cox, Billy Crudup, David Cross, Rosario Dawson, Daveed Diggs, Peter Dinklage, Rachel Dratch, Jesse Eisenberg, Edie Falco, America Ferrera, Greta Gerwig, Oscar Isaac, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie, Julianne Moore, Tracy Morgan, Cynthia Nixon, Anna Paquin, Rosie Perez, Phylicia Rashad, Chris Rock, Sam Rockwell, Liev Schreiber, Amanda Seyfried, Michael Shannon, Gabourey Sidibe, Sarah Silverman, Marisa Tomei, Naomi Watts and more.