NEW YORK CITY: The Tank has announced initial programming for its 9th annual PrideFest, which runs June 16-25. Every year in June, PrideFest hosts performances, discussions, workshops, and forums on the topics of sexuality, gender, equality, old battles, and new ways of fighting them. Curated by Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin and Gabriel Torres, this year’s festival will highlight work that celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community in its healing; addresses challenges that are faced in pursuit of rights, representation, and justice; and presents new ideas and perceptions on how to define ourselves individually, within our own community, and in the global community at large.
The festival will feature new work by artists including Emily Aviles, Ella Baldwin, Júlia Cerqueira, Scout Davis, Leo Diaz, Emily Drossell, Stephen Dym, Stephen Hill, Aliyah Hunter, Kenneth Keng, Adin Lenahan, Dauris Martinez, Brandon Monokian, Ashley Lauren Rogers, Jordan Rutter-Corvato, and Ricky Sim. Tickets begin at $15 and are available by visiting the PrideFest website. Additional programming and details will be announced at a later date.
The current lineup includes a performance of Pansy written and performed by Dauris Martinez on June 16 at 7 p.m. in the Tank’s 98-seat theatre. Pansy is about the personification, embodiment, and reclamation of insults. It examines rest as a radical form of freedom, healing, and resistance against toxic productivity. That same evening at 9:30 p.m. will be Erato, curated and arranged by Jordan Rutter-Corvato. Erato will be a narrative concert celebrating NYC’s leather community and queer sexuality through Baroque music, including works by Handel, Monteverdi, Legrenzi, and more. Erato will feature Nadir Aslam on violin; Kevin Devine on harpsichord; Margrét Hjaltested on viola; Jeremy Rhizor on violin; Jordan Rutter-Covatto on countertenor; and J. Adam Young on cello.
There will be readings of Leo Layla Díaz’s Trophy Boys on June 17 and 22 at 7 p.m. in the 56-seat theatre, directed by Hannah Marie Pederson. This satirical play centers around a hit show where three transmasc contestants at different points of their transitions all compete on live television for an immediate legal name change. Truth, Dare, or Lesbian, written and performed by Emily Drossell, will be presented on June 17 at 9:30 p.m. in the 56-seat theatre. One pivotal night, at a sleepover nearly two decades ago, a girl proposed a game of “truth, dare, or lesbian.” Everyone agreed…and then no one chose “lesbian.” Years later, former sleepover participant, Emily Drossell, is committed to realizing the game that never fully came to be.
A performance of Júlia Cerqueira’s What Love Did to Us will take place on June 18 at 3 p.m. in the 98-seat theatre. Set a year after a catastrophic ending, Maya and Venice bump into each other (or so they think) and are forced to relive their past, confront their present, and, worst of all, decide their future. There will be a dual solo bill on June 21 at 7 p.m. in the 56-seat theatre, featuring You Don’t Climb a Pepper Tree, You Go Around It, written and performed by Chisom Awachie, and Coming Out to Dead People, written and performed by Ricky Sim. You Don’t Climb… explores a time when you can’t talk to your family about work, dating, or a floating glob of white supremacist bile hell-bent on consuming you, so you call a great-great-aunt. Coming Out to Dead People is a coming-of-age story that follows Ricky when he was a 19-year-old immigrant kid from Queens who had to decide whether to come out to his traditional/conservative Chinese-Malaysian mother after she’s diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Jonon Gansukh’s Ancient History, directed by Michi Zaya, will be presented on June 21 at 7 p.m. and June 25 at 3 p.m. in the 98-seat theatre. In this play, Mongolian American boys Kevin and Ari hide kisses behind cherry trees and seek themselves in queer Asian stories from 2 BCE to 1925 about Emperor Ai, Princess Sun-Bin Bong, and Author Nobuko Yoshiya. Emily Aviles’s Colors of Goodbye will be presented on June 21 at 9:30 p.m. in the 56-seat theatre. This is part memoir, part musical concert, and part color theory celebration chronicling the recovery journey of a child abuse survivor.
Stephen Hill’s NachmoX: OUT LOUD! will be held on June 22 at 7 p.m. in the 98-seat theatre. The showcase is described as a “condensed choreographic kick in the pants.” Choreographers will be able to sign up to participate with their own dancers or can opt to be matched with dancers, and will be given a week to choreograph a new dance piece based on a prompt from a professional outside the dance world. The prompt for this event will be based on the following quote by Marsha P. Johnson: “No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.”
Next will be a double bill of Undefeated by Aliya Hunter and AMA, written and performed by Kenneth Keng, on June 23 at 7 p.m in the 56-seat theatre. Undefeated follows Aliya, the wrestling star of the evening, as she enters and coolly takes care of her first two opponents: a seventh-grade boy and a botched college hookup. AMA is a version of “ask me anything,” but it’s Keng’s grandma asking and the audience answering, and also she’s dying, and their country is about to be invaded for the second time this century.
Hold Yr Terror Close by Ella Baldwin plays on June 23 at 7 p.m. & June 24 at 9:30 p.m. in the 98-seat theatre. The play follows Ohio, a queer pop star called into space to save the world and leave behind her loving and level-headed partner, Maria. Next is a reading of Don’t Think About Elephants by Ashley Lauren Rogers on June 24 at 3 p.m. in the 98-seat theatre. The play follows as Emily’s pregnancy test turns out positive, and she and her sister-in-law go on a road trip to get her checked out and basic information at a Planned Parenthood clinic, though the two of them despise each other.
A reading of Brandon Monokian’s Echo & Narcissus Blast Third Eye Blind Outside A Diner in New Jersey At 2 A.M. will be held on June 25 at 3 p.m. in the 56-seat theatre. Directed by Jeremy Crittenden with live music from Sam Kwietniak, the play is set in 1999, as two teenage boys deal with their closeted sexuality and a violent incident that will change them both forever. There will be a triple solo bill of FYP, written and performed by Adin Lenahan, In the Elvis Mirror, written and performed by Stephen Dym, and Doll Valley, written and performed by Scout Davis on June 25 at 7 p.m. in the 56-seat theatre. FYP is a solo show that takes the performance of self we practice on social media and contorts it through the abstraction of voice and movement. In the Elvis Mirror is the personal reflection of a young boy growing up in the Bronx and sharing a room and an unusually close relationship with his teenage sister in the 1950s and ’60s. Doll Valley is a meditation on a cornerstone of iconic queer camp pop culture endowed with the mythic tale of women attempting to navigate concepts of gaze and authorship in a volatile field/industry.
Founded in 2003, The Tank is an Obie-winning, multi-disciplinary nonprofit arts presenter and producer, which provides a home to emerging artists working across all disciplines, including theatre, comedy, dance, film, music, puppetry, and storytelling. The Tank seeks to champion emerging artists engaged in the pursuit of new ideas and forms of expression by removing the economic barriers from the creation of new work for artists launching their careers and experimenting within their art form.
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