NEW YORK CITY: A new independent theatre initiative has been launched to connect sheltering artists and help to feed children affected by COVID-19 in New York City and beyond. The Homebound Project, founded by playwright Catya McMullen and director Jenna Worsham, will unite more than 50 actors and playwrights to present new theatrical works in limited release view-at-home recordings. Tickets will begin at a donation level of $10, with all proceeds benefiting No Kid Hungry, a national campaign helping to feed countless children living with hunger.
“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,” said co-creator Jenna Worsham, who will direct a few of the works, in a statement. “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 theatre provokes.”
The project is currently scheduled to include three editions, each comprising 10 new theatre works, with each collection of new works available to stream over a strictly limited four-day period. The first edition, in which playwrights were given the prompt of “home,” will stream online beginning on Wednesday, May 6, at 7 p.m., and continue through 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 10. The starry line-up includes:
- Christopher Abbott in a work by Lucy Thurber
- Utkarsh Ambudkar in a work by Qui Nguyen
- Glenn Davis in a work by Ren Dara Santiago
- William Jackson Harper in work by Max Posner
- Jessica Hecht in a work by Sarah Ruhl
- Marin Ireland in a work by Eliza Clark,
- Alison Pill in a work by C.A. Johnson,
- Elizabeth Rodriguez in a work by Rajiv Joseph
- Thomas Sadoski in a work by Martyna Majok
- Amanda Seyfried in a work by Catya McMullen
Subsequent editions, which will focus on themes of “sustenance,” will air May 20–24 and June 3–7, and are set to include actors Uzo Aduba, Betty Gilpin, André Holland, Joshua Leonard, Hari Nef, Ashley Park, Mary-Louise Parker, Will Pullen, and Zachary Quinto, performing works by such playwrights as Adam Bock, John Guare, Daniel Talbott, Anne Washburn, David Zheng, among many others.
In addition to McMullen and Worshman, the creative team behind the Homebound Project is rounded out with costume consultation by Andy Jean; sound design by Fan Zhang; original music by Scott Klopfenstein; and video editing and design by Jon Burkland/ZANNI Productions.
No Kid Hungry—a campaign by Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty—is ending childhood hunger by helping launch and improve programs that give all kids the healthy food they need to thrive.
“Childhood hunger has always been a crisis in our country, but with the pandemic, we believe that more kids are living with hunger than ever before,” said Billy Shore, executive chair of Share Our Strength, in a statement. “We’re truly proud and grateful to partner with The Homebound Project. What a great way for the theater community to literally share its strength, and to help feed kids now and in the months ahead.”
“In a crisis, the artist’s responsibility becomes even more clear: we tell stories to entertain and to reflect,” added actor Thomas Sadoski in a statement. “If we can give a moment’s peace, we will. But if we can do our job and help the incredible folks at No Kid Hungry provide for our community, we are all in.”
The Homebound Project has been made possible by the Theater Authority, through a generous partnership with Actors’ Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, American Guild of Variety Artists, and SAG-AFTRA.