The Tank Announces LIT Council: A Writers Group For Male Playwrights Of Color
The Tank is now accepting applications for LIT Council (Akin Salawu, Founder/Creator; and Beto O'Byrne and Jerome A. Parker, Co-creators) a development intensive for male playwrights of color. During their time with the Council (September 2018 through April 2019), writers will hone a play guided by the Bechdel Test to ensure gender equity in storytelling. The program will culminate in a reading workshop of each participant's play, hosted at The Tank (312 West 36th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue). In order to further promote collaboration and communication between genders, each play will be attached to a female director of color, chosen from a group of professionals and mentors, who will be active presences throughout the process.
For each session, participants will receive feedback and mentorship from 3 professional Facilitators: Beto O'Byrne (playwright-in-residence at Stella Adler; 2050 Playwriting Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop), Jerome A. Parker (MacDowell and Dramatist Guild Fellow), and Akin Salawu (Inaugural Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater; two-time Tribeca All Access Winner) are all writers of color with working experience in the industry and theatrical credits in New York City and around the country. They created LIT Council with the Tank to have a professional setting where whiteness is de-centered and the "white gaze" isn't a deterrent or the raison d'etre for a play's birth, voice and steps in the world. Participants will be pushed to create works where female characters are given equal weight to their male counterparts and also supported to stretch their voice in writing for, and collaborating with, women.
LIT Council seeks daring applicants of color from all levels, and ALL who identify as male, to work on a play already in progress. The chosen participants will demonstrate great appetite and aptitude for crafting uncompromised stories, while understanding the pressing need to represent "other" voices, especially those of women, fully in their work. As this is a collective, the Council looks for artists not only with experience in taking the reign of their own creative process, but also with a desire to collaborate with the other participating artists in the room. The Tank is located in New York, so applicants need to be NYC-based in order to participate in weekend meetings, readings and other program-related events. For more information on the program and to apply to be part of the 2018-19 season please visit http://thetanknyc.org/series/lit_council/. The deadline for applications is August 3rd.
Beto O'Byrne hails from East Texas and is the co-founder of Radical Evolution, a multi-ethnic, multi-disciplinary producing collective based in Brooklyn, NY. The author of 20 plays, screenplays, and original TV pilots, his works have been produced in San Antonio, Austin, Los Angeles and New York City, where was the most recent playwright-in-residence at the
Stella Adler School of Acting and a 2050 Playwriting Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop. In addition, O'Byrne is an advocate for the performing arts field, having worked with organizations such as Theatre Communications Group, La Cooperativa of Latinx Theatre Artists of NYC, and the Latinx Theatre Commons. MFA, Dramatic Writing: University of Southern California. www.betoobyrne.com
Jerome A. Parker is a MacDowell and Dramatist Guild Fellow from New York City. His work has been developed through readings and productions at The Public Theater, the Old Vic, the Cherry Lane, Classical Theatre of Harlem, the National Black Theater, BAAD!, Company of Angels, American Lyric Theater, NY Stage and Film, Freedom Train Productions, Celebration Theater, On the Boards, the Musical Theater Factory, New York Musical Festival, and the Los Angeles Theater Center amongst others.
Akin Salawu is a two-time Tribeca All Access Winner with a BA from Stanford and a Screenwriting MFA from Columbia. At Stanford, Akin founded ergo student theater troupe and was awarded the Sherifa Omade Ego Prize for mounting culturally diverse theater. Akin was a member of The Public Theater's Inaugural Emerging Writers Group and wrote Chapter 5 in the book, "The Obama Movement." Akin also wrote 2 short plays on Ferguson for Chicago's American Theater. Akin developed his first musical The Real Whisper in Ars Nova's Uncharted residency which premiered in the 2017 Polyphone Festival at The University of the Arts.
The Tank is a non-profit arts presenter serving emerging artists engaged in the pursuit of new ideas and forms of expression. We serve over 2,000 artists every year in over 400 performances, and work across all disciplines, including theater, comedy, dance, film, music, public affairs, and storytelling. Our goal is to foster an environment of inclusiveness and remove the burden of cost from the creation of new work for artists launching their careers and experimenting within their art form. The heart of our services is providing free performance space in our 98 seat proscenium and 56 seat blackbox that we operate in Manhattan, and we also offer a suite of other services such as free rehearsal space, promotional support, artist fees, and much more. We keep ticket prices affordable and view our work as democratic, opening up both the creation and attendance of the arts to all.
Past Tank produced-work includes Drama Desk-nominated productions Ada/Ava (2016), youarenowhere (2016), The Paper Hat Game (2017), the ephemera trilogy (2017), and The Hunger Artist (2018), as well as New York Times Critics' Pick The Offending Gesture by Mac Wellman, directed by Meghan Finn (2016). Since its founding in 2003, artists who have come through The Tank include Alex Timbers, Amy Herzog, Lucy Alibar, Mike Daisey, Reggie Watts, Kyle Abraham, Andrew Bujalski, We Are Scientists, and tens of thousands of others. www.thetanknyc.org