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The Tank Announces 2020 Resident Artist Projects - HOST INVITE and THE BLACK QUEEN SCREEN TESTS

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Host Invite will stream online on Saturday October 31, 2020 at 7PM ET. The Black Queen Screen Tests will stream online on Friday November 20, 2020 at 6PM ET.

The Tank Announces 2020 Resident Artist Projects - HOST INVITE and THE BLACK QUEEN SCREEN TESTS

The Tank announced today two upcoming projects as part of their Resident Artist program. The Tank has given developmental residencies to two artists, culminating in a public workshop performance. Host Invite, written by Tarik Davis (Freestyle Love Supreme) and directed by Micah Sherman (The Bob Ross Challenge), will stream online on Saturday October 31, 2020 at 7PM ET. The Black Queen Screen Tests, written by LIT Council member Jerome A. Parker (Bliss: A Soldier's Tale), will stream online on Friday November 20, 2020 at 6PM ET. Both projects will stream online on CyberTank.

The Tank is providing residencies to Tarik Davis and Jerome Parker and their collaborators. The residencies themselves-one on Zoom, the other in their space on 36th Street adhering to NY Forward's guidelines-existing in different spaces and with different structures of working speaks to the resiliency of artistic practice and the myriad of ways The Tank can make space for artists to develop their work during this ongoing pandemic.

"It feels imperative during this time to nurture creative practice, experimentation & investigation and support it using whatever platforms are available to us to bring artists together," says Artistic Director Meghan Finn.

"I grew up in the 80's and 90's going to my local video store and renting whatever bad science fiction/horror film I could get my hands on, parental rating be damned," shared Tarik Davis. "As a Black kid growing up in a mixed suburb where my part--the Black part of town--was overpoliced, and opportunities for me were scarce but property was cheaper, my VCR provided an escape. I could transport myself to different worlds not constrained by the macro and micro racism my family faced daily... or so I thought. As my critical eye and ideas about the context these films were made in and critical race theory grew, I noticed the same limitations I had to navigate in my life were in the very films I used as an escape."

In April of this year while suffering through a battle with COVID (I'm a long hauler and the road has been LONG), I was devastated mentally, physically and emotionally by what had become everyone's new normal. A few weeks later when I felt better, I did a performance on Zoom and right after I felt sick again. 'The virus!' I thought. Then it hit me. The people who make theater with or without an actual theater are stronger than this damn virus will ever be. Artists are stronger than the forces of racism, fascism, unregulated capitalism, homophobia, transphobia and constitutional originalism. If ever there was a moment to make theater, it's THIS moment. And we can use whatever mediums we have at our disposal. And that was the birth of Host Invite. It is my horror/sci-fi commentary on THIS moment."

Regarding The Black Queen Screen Tests, Jerome Parker said, "The plague of AIDS in the 80's and 90's ripped through our black, queer communities, burning bridges between generations. This absurd musical tackles and fills that gap, as the elder queens perform their triumphs, heartbreaks and histories for the younger queens, teaching them how to use their voice to survive and fight in a world bent on erasing them. The artistic process of my residency and workshop is shaped by the same sense of giving back and strengthening ties in the name of progress, as this ALL BLACK pool of creative and technical talent forge and build in a new, virtual, live playing space."

HOST INVITE

Written by Tarik Davis

Directed by Micah Sherman

Saturday October 31, 2020 at 7PM ET

A play for the moment, Host Invite, written by Tarik Davis (Broadway's Freestyle Love Supreme, "The Amber Ruffin Show"), is a virtual one-act horror that blurs the line between science fiction and science fact. Designed to get theater professionals back to work, this project's backdrop is the very pandemic in which we currently find ourselves. In this workshop performance, investigative reporter Russell Brooks hosts a Zoom call for whistleblowers from Tangle, a multinational tech conglomerate, to expose the corporation's labor violations, but he unearths something far more sinister. When it comes to augmented reality and disinformation, it's so hard to determine what's real anymore. What is the matrix? You have to see it for yourself!

The cast for Host Invite includes Kelly AuCoin ("Billions"), Don P. Hooper (Page One), Greg Kotis (Urinetown, I Am Nobody), Patrick McCartney (Sinister Kid), Priya Patel (Very Much Live!), Paul(i) Reese (Props! A Hip-Hop Game Show), Suni Reyes (Celia, the life and music of Celia Cruz), Kristin Stokes (The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical) and Mark Stetson (Mashable's The Bob Ross Challenge).

Tickets begin at $10 and are available at https://thetanknyc.org/cybertank-calendar/2020/10/31/host-invite.

THE BLACK QUEEN SCREEN TESTS

Written and Created by Jerome A. Parker

Friday November 20, 2020 at 6PM ET

The Black Queen Screen Tests is an ALL-BLACK, virtual workshop production of The Black Queens, or House of Dinah built to elevate theatricality and explore the "live". After a series of in-house workshops, The Tank will host a live stream of their experiments. But most importantly, this endeavor is led and entirely run by a 20+ member team of BLACK creative artists, artisans and technicians.

This absurd musical, which taps into the art of drag, mixes lip-syncing with live moments of dance and music to tell an intergenerational BLACK, QUEER story of self-reliance, resilience and survival. Songs from Dinah Washington's catalogue are celebrated-while new, hybrid, virtual theater positions are created and built by an ALL BLACK TEAM!

The cast of The Black Queen Screen Tests includes Amanda Moreau (Wilhelmina), Joshua Josey (Lady), James Edward Becton* (Felicia), Mizz June* (Gladys), Suzanne Darell*† (Tamika), Theodore Alexander (Wilhelmina Double) and Marcus Braggs (Lady Double).

Musical direction is by Dionne McClain-Freeney, choreography is by Tatiana Barber, production design is by Lance K. Lewis, sound design is by Luqman Brown, and video design is by Peter Caballero. Imu Aghahowa serves as virtual stage manager apprentice with Chiara Johnson as stage manager consultant.

Tickets begin at $15 and will be available at https://thetanknyc.org/theblackqueens.

*Member of Actors' Equity Association.

† Member of American Guild of Musical Artists



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