The Stories of Us Cast:Tarik Daniels

You may know that the play that I wrote that was featured in the Austin Latino New Play Festival in 2015 was picked up by Teatro Vivo for their 2015-2016 season.  And showtime is upon us!  The show is directed by the fabulously talented Florinda Bryant (who slays at teatro is you ask me!) and brought to life by a beautiful ensemble of artists.
I wanted to take the time to connect with the members of the cast and crew to hear about their experiences and their stories.   Today, the spotlight is on the talented ensemble member Tarik Daniels!
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Tarik Daniels is an actor and playwright.  He  wrote the plays The Counseling Session and STIGMA. Tarik is a proud graduate of Bowling Green State University, B.A and member of Spectrum Theatre Company in Austin, TX. As an actor, he has had roles in BGSU Theatre Department’s Six Degrees of Separation, The Dutchman, Times Square Angel, SSE’s Better Than He Can, and Austin Shakespeare’s Medea.
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What is your reaction/connection to the play?
My reaction and connection to this play was very strong from the beginning. I was intrigued with the story of being Black and Latino and having to make that choice to be either one or both. For me being a black man, there was never choice to be made about my race, cultural or where I belonged. My thought process of being bi racial has always involved just the idea of race, black or white, or just MIXED. I have always ignored the factors of acceptance, family history, and cultural identity. Being “mixed” has more meaning to me now, more layers. It can be two worlds coming together, painting a pretty picture, or two worlds colliding, bringing about chaos. In all, self-identity is what most importance which out pours love and truths.
I was intrigued with the story of being Black and Latino and having to make that choice to be either one or both. For me being a black man, there was never choice to be made about my race, cultural or where I belonged.
How was the process of creating the show?
The process of The Stories of US has been incredible to say the least. I couldn’t ask for a better director or cast mates to be with me on this journey. Our director, Florinda Bryant was fully committed from the beginning to make this a well-rounded experience. I’ve learned things about the Latino community that I never thought I would have, through a spiritual and deep connection. Florinda was able to create this Afro-Latino world and allowed us to be vulnerable and present to learn from each others experiences and understandings. Throughout this process, I’ve actually grown to have a connection to the Latino community, a sense that I belong. Yes Blacks and Latinos are different in a lot of ways, but we are the same in more ways than we realized and being both seems likes the coolest thing ever.
Throughout this process, I’ve actually grown to have a connection to the Latino community, a sense that I belong.
What other projects/play have you worked on?
 Recently I finished a run with Austin Shakespeare’s Medea in March and I stage managed Spectrum Theatre Company’s musical Crowns. I wrote two plays last year, The Counseling Session and STIGMA, which will be produced in July here in Austin, TX.
I wrote two plays last year, The Counseling Session and STIGMA, which will be produced in July here in Austin, TX.

 

Thank you Tarik for your words and amazing work!  You can see Tarik and the rest of the cast April 22nd!  The Stories of Us will be playing April 21, 2016-May 8, 2016 in Austin, Texas.  You can purchase tickets here.

 

© BLACK GIRL, LATIN WORLD 2016

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