On Tuesday, May 15th, international luxury brand, Montblanc and arts education organization, Urban Arts Partnership, announced plans to bring the 24 Hour Plays benefit back to Los Angeles on Saturday, June 16th, 2012.
The announcement took place at Montblanc’s Rodeo Drive boutique in Beverly Hills where the 2012 cast was also revealed. In attendance were, Montblanc North America President and CEO Jan-Patrick Schmitz, the program’s Artistic Board Chairperson, Actress Rosie Perez (Gods Behaving Badly, Pineapple Express), as well as Event Producer and Founding Partners of the Freestyle Picture Company, Kevin Chinoy and Francesca Silvestri. A number of board members, community supporters and friends rounded out the guest list including cast members; Tracie Thoms (Cold Case, Rent), Diane Neal (Law and Order: SVU), and Ramon Rodriguez (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Battle Los Angeles).
Other big Hollywood names set to appear this year are: Sasha Alexander (Rizzoli & Isles, NCIS), Jason Biggs (American Pie series, Mad Love), Josh Dallas (Once Upon a Time, Thor), Brooklyn Decker (Just Go With It, Battleship), Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon a Time, Something Borrowed), Ashley Greene (Twilight series), Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games, Race to Witch Mountain), Lamorne Morris (New Girl, The Guild), Rosie Perez (Gods Behaving Badly, Pineapple Express), Jason Ritter (Parenthood, The Event), Krysten Ritter (Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, Breaking Bad), and Wilmer Valderrama (Awake, That '70s Show). Musical Guest: Leftover Cuties.
Both Schmitz and Perez spoke candidly about the evolution of the program since their partnership began over 6 years ago. According to Perez, "Montblanc has been the driving force in bringing the 24 Hour Plays to Los Angeles and we are most happy that they have stuck with us over the years. As Patrick has said many times before, he is not just a sponsor he is a partner. He is dedicated to working with the youth by visiting schools and teaches classes.”
"Right, I teach a Master Class in Photography,” says Schmitz. “Photography has been a passion for me since I was 6 years old and I recently held a class at the Newcomers High School in Queens, New York. You can look across the room and see over 30 different cultures and languages represented and I feel that art is a universal language that brings students together. So we must do what is in our power to keep the arts alive so children can learn and grow."
The Urban Arts Partnership is dedicated to advancing the intellectual, social and artistic development of underserved public school students through arts-integrated programs in participating “high need” LAUSD partner schools including: ArTES High School, Teresa Hughes Elementary, East LA Performing Arts Academy High School, Bancroft Middle School and Southeast Middle School.
Congresswoman Karen Bass has also stepped up to support the program. Her Deputy Chief of Staff, Solomon Rivera was in attendance to speak on her behalf. “We cover the west-side of South Los Angeles where it’s not uncommon for a high school to graduate only 30% of their students. However, Urban Arts is in over 60 schools in New York that report 75% or better graduation rates, proof that arts are a meaningful part of education. It’s great to have programs like this filling the gap. We want to encourage everyone to continue to spread the word about the program and certainly continue to support the 24 Hour Plays here in LA.
You can catch the 24 Hour Plays when it returns to The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California (1310 11th Street) on Saturday, June 16th. The creative process begins at 10:00pm the night before, when six writers, six directors and the 24 member cast come together to create a series of short plays which must be completed and performed the next day in front of a live audience at 8pm. To learn more about Urban Arts Partnership visit their official website www.urbanarts.org an follow them on twitter @urbanartsnyc .Tickets for the 24 Hour Plays are on sale now at www.urbanarts.tix.com and exclusive access packages can be purchased at www.citiprivatepass.com.