Like many theatres around the country, The Tank, an Off-Broadway institution dedicated to producing new performance work across a variety of genres, was forced to shut its doors and halt its programming last month in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Its 2019–2020 season, launched last fall, had already seen a mix of established and emerging writers transform it stages—from powerhouses like Tonya Pinkins to up-and-comers like director Miranda Haymon.
Sara and Reid Farrington premiered BrandoCapote, a multimedia dance theatre piece inspired by Noh Theater, Marlon Brando films, and a 1957 New Yorker magazine profile of the actor by Truman Capote; InVersion Theatre transformed the 56-seat Blackbox, the smaller of The Tank's spaces, into a spaceship; and Ran Xia's In Blue, an original work of poetry and vision, saw a gorgeous environment struck every night.
"My goal at The Tank is to see new performance work made," says Artistic Director Meghan Finn, "but especially I want to make it possible for writers to get their new plays out of drawers, and fully created. We were poised to move into four additional co-productions that now we are charged with finding a new timeline for, once we can come back together again."
Take a look through The Tank's 2019–2020 season below, and read testimonials from the artists have called the space home over the last several months.
PRODUCTION PHOTOS FROM THE 2019–2020 SEASON
The Tank Looks Back at its 2019–2020 Season
TESTIMONIALS FROM 2019–2020 ARTISTS
“The Tank is unlike any other arts organization in the country. They trust, foster and say yes to their artists, never charging them to be there, loving and respecting them, no matter how weird their requests.” Sara Farrington, playwright of Brando/Capote
“The Tank gives you the room and the resources and says go. This is almost unheard of in 21st century NYC, but Meghan Finn and Danielle King at The Tank believe it, do it, make it sustainable.” Reid Farrington, director of BrandoCapote
“I started working at the Tank because it welcomed eclectic ideas and said YES to uncertainties; I stayed because I found an artistic home in its unique aesthetics, its sincerity in serving the artists, its unparalleled dedication to cultivating new works, and most importantly, its culture of kindness.“ Ran Xia, writer and director of In Blue
“InVersion chose to co-produce Or, An Astronaut Play with The Tank because Meghan and Danielle execute their work with care, joy, radical inclusion and great cunning. We were able to do the best work in our company's history because of their leadership." Will Steinberger, director of Or, An Astronaut Play
"I choose The Tank again and again because it's the only place in New York City where artists can take true aesthetic, thematic and genre-bending risks. My professional and artistic life depends on a home for this kind of place. The Tank always says yes and won't make you break the bank in the process." Miranda Haymon, director of Really, Really Gorgeous
"The Tank is, without hyperbole, the most important theatrical entity in New York City, for emerging artists. The Tank is comprised of people who are equal parts: talent, dedication, practical know-how, theatrical magic, and social empathy." Paul Hufker, playwright of Birthday in the Bronx
"Birthday in the Bronx interrogated itself, and asked how whiteness shapes the people of color who encounter it. It was a risk, but, The Tank is a place where I, and the incredible creative team involved, could take up space for that kind of interrogation.” - Michaela Escarcega, director of Birthday in the Bronx
"New York City, for most of us, most of the time, is a place that says no. The Tank is a place that says yes." Greg Kotis, writer of I am Nobody
“I needed to create a writers group for Men of Color because we are very much the junkyard dogs of the NY Theatre scene. I knew The Tank would be an ideal safe haven for my misfit toy soldiers, given its long history of sheltering the walking wounded. Meghan instantly took to the initiative - and now LIT Council is in our 2nd year.” Akin Salawu, the facilitator of Lit Council, a development intensive for male playwrights of color at The Tank