Matthew Barber, ACE press
Pandemic Players Presents RAISING ARIZONA Table Read, Directed by Matt Barber, to Benefit Covenant House
November 22, 2020

by Ryan Lattanzio, IndieWire

All proceeds from the reading of the Coen Brothers classic, taking place Wednesday, November 25, will benefit Covenant House.

Want to relive a Coen Brothers classic with a fresh spin and some new cast members? The Pandemic Players, a troupe of stage and screen actors volunteering their time and talents to help fellow Americans impacted by COVID-19, will host a table read of the 1987 comedy “Raising Arizona” this Wednesday, November 25. The video will launch at 11 a.m. PT, 2 p.m. ET. All proceeds will benefit Covenant House, founded in 1972 to shelter and care for young people facing homelessness. Below, check out an exclusive trailer for the read.

Troupe members participating in the table read include Zachary Levi (star of “Shazam!”), who will take on the role of Nicolas Cage’s H.I. McDunnough, and Alison Pill (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”), who will play Holly Hunter’s Ed. Joining the pair will be Dean Norris, Clancy Brown, Macon Blair, Ross Partridge, Sarah Clarke, Jeff Dowd, Leila Almas Rose, Jaime Zevallos, and Jordana Brewster.

“Like most creatives we felt powerless as the pandemic raged across the country,” said the producers. “We wanted to use our powers for good, which in our case meant calling on our fellow artists to give of their time and talent to raise money for worthy causes and at the same time — we hope — provide some much needed entertainment to our fellow citizens during this terrible time.”

The Players are led by producers Matthew Barber, Chris Brown, Darren Dean, Frederik Ehrhardt, Myrta Vida, and IndieWire co-founder Mark Rabinowitz.

Per the Pandemic Players’ website, while productions are free of charge, viewers are strongly encouraged to donate to the curated group of charities provided that aid underserved organizations. These benefit everyone from front-line workers, to the homeless population, communities of color, and the arts. As per Screen Actors Guild rules, each production will be available for only four days, and will be shared on the Pandemic Players’ YouTube page.

Head here to donate to the campaign, and you can tune into the Pandemic Players’ website on Wednesday to watch the table read. Future Pandemic Players productions will include the ’80s cult classics “The Breakfast Club” and “Heathers,” and will benefit additional charities providing philanthropy during the pandemic.