News: "Give Me The MacArthur Genius Grant" to Play 2024 Queerly Festival June 14 and 17

Give Me The MacArthur Genius Grant, by Tarek Ziad, an L.A.-based queer Afro-Arab comedian, actor, and writer, will be presented as part of the 2024 Queerly Festival with FRIGID New York at UNDER St. Marks (94 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009), with performances on Fri June 14 at 9pm and Mon June 17 at 7pm. 

In Groundlings SNL Scholar and Yale grad  Ziad’s Give Me The MacArthur Genius Grant, the idea of The MacArthur Fellowship—a shining $800,000 symbol of validation and achievement for creatives—becomes a gateway into discussions of success, failure, self-obsession, and how they all fit under one scary umbrella: Financial Security. In his 50-minute solo comedy, Ziad juxtaposes larger notions of what exactly a “genius” is with his own feelings of accomplishment (or lack thereof) as a budding-yet-broke queer artist of color. Faced with an uncertain future and the reality that no one is promised anything, Ziad begs the absurd—potentially satirical—question, “why not give ME the Genius Grant?!”

Described as “a lot of fun, infinitely meme-able, and refreshing” by The New Haven Independent, Give Me The MacArthur Genius Grant makes its fully staged debut after a sold-out 2023 preview in New York City. Through a mixture of theatrical stand-up comedy and multimedia led performance, Ziad uses his own life story to explore universal tensions felt by young creatives as they attempt to piece together livelihoods. Following in the footsteps of performers like Kristina Wong, Kate Berlant, Hannah Gadsby, and Cole Escola, he takes the audience on an autofictional ride full of big laughs and even bigger thoughts.

To see the trailer, click here


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