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The Lark Announces 2015-16 Rita Goldberg Playwrights' Workshop Fellows

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Playwrights Workshop Fellows

TheLark named five New York City-based playwrights as Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop Fellows for the 2015-16 season. The group spans a wide range of backgrounds and professional experiences and will meet regularly throughout the year to develop new plays.

The Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop, now in its 17th year, is one of The Lark’s longest-running programs, bringing emerging and established playwrights together to explore new material without commercial pressures. Fellows meet twice a month to share new pages from plays-in-progress with a community of actors, directors, designers, writers and special guests.

The five fellows are Robert Askins, Tony nominee and author of Hand to God, produced on Broadway at the Booth Theatre (2015); Jeff Augustin, author of Little Children Dream of God, produced by Roundabout Underground ® (2015); Hansol Jung, author of three plays included on the Kilroy’s “The List,” and of Cardboard Piano, presented as part of The O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference (2015); Martyna Majok, author of Ironbound, co-produced by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and Women’s Project Theater (2016), and the 2015-16 PoNY Fellow at The Lark (in partnership with Playwrights of New York);   Lucy Thurber, author of the five-play cycle The Hill Town Plays produced Off-Broadway by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (2013) in-conjunction with Cherry Lane Theater, Axis Theatre and the New Ohio Theatre.

“We’ve been fortunate to have some of the most important voices in the theater participate in this program, and this year’s group very much continues that tradition,” said Lloyd Suh, The Lark’s Director of Artistic Programs. “This is an eclectic, energetic, and ambitious cohort of distinctive dramatic voices, and I can’t wait to see how they feed off each other’s incredible energy over the year.”

The program is led by esteemed dramatist and program creator Arthur Kopit and a group of leading American playwrights that include David Henry Hwang, Tina Howe, Terrence McNally, Theresa Rebeck, José Rivera, Lynn Nottage and Doug Wright, among others. Fellows are selected annually by a committee that solicits nominations from leading dramatists and artistic directors.  Program alumni include José Rivera (Marisol, School of the Americas), Thomas Bradshaw (Burning, Mary), Samuel D. Hunter (The Whale, A Bright New Boise), Katori Hall (The Mountaintop, Hurt Village), Dominique Morisseau (Detroit ’67), Lisa Kron (Fun Home, The Verizon Play), Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Guards at the Taj), and Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage(Ruined), whose recently acclaimed play, Sweat, was developed during her time as a Workshop Fellow in the 2013-14 season.

“Playwrights' Workshop is my favorite place to get work done,” said Kimber Lee(brownsville song (b-side for tray), tokyo fish story), a participant in the 2014-15 Playwrights’ Workshop. “From the first attempts to get a play onto the page, to the polishing pass near the end of development, it is home to me, which is to say:  it is a place where playwrights can be known in an authentic way, over a significant period of time, and can thus be beautifully supported and rigorously challenged at the same time.”

This program has been made possible with leadership support from longtime Lark trustee Rita Goldberg.  Additional support is provided by the Axe-Houghton Foundation and the John Golden Fund.

BIOGRAPHIES OF THE PLAYWRIGHTS

Robert Askins was born in Cypress, Texas in 1980. He moved to New York in 2005. In 2009, his play Princes of Waco was produced by EST/Youngblood. His one act play Matthew and the Pastor's Wife was a part of Marathon 2010 at EST, and The Love Song of the Albanian Sous Chef won a Dallas Outer Circle Critics award in 2011. Most recently, Rob's Obie Award-winning play Hand to God enjoyed three sold-out runs at EST in 2011-12, followed by a 2014 engagement of the play at MCC Theater. Hand to God can currently be seen on Broadway at the Booth Theatre and has received five 2015 Tony Award nominations, including Best Play. Mr. Askins is proud to be an alumnus of I-73, Youngblood, and a member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre. He has received two EST/Sloan grants, an Arch and Bruce Davis Award, and is one of the 2012 recipients of the Helen Merrill Award for emerging playwrights.

Jeff Augustin's play Little Children Dream of God received its world premiere at the Roundabout Underground, where he was the inaugural Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence. His plays have also been produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville (Cry Old Kingdom, Humana 2013; That High Lonesome Sound, Humana Apprentice Anthology 2015), and Western Washington University (Corktown). His work has been developed at the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference, La Jolla Playhouse, The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, American Conservatory Theater, and Seattle Rep. He is a member of The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm and was a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellow. Currently, Jeff is the Shank Playwright-in-Residence at Playwrights Horizons. He is under commission from Manhattan Theatre Club and Roundabout. BA: Boston College, MFA: UCSD.

Hansol Jung is a playwright and director from South Korea. Her work has been developed at the Royal Court (London), New York Theatre Workshop, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, O’Neill Conference, The Lark, Bushwick Starr, Asia Society New York, Seven Devils Playwright Conference, and OD Musical Theater Company (Seoul). Her works include No More Sad ThingsAmong the DeadWolf PlayWild Goose Dreams, and Cardboard Piano. She has translated over thirty English musicals into Korean, including EvitaDracula, Spamalot, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, while working on several award winning musical theatre productions as director, lyricist and translator in Seoul, South Korea. She is the recipient of the 2050 Fellowship at New York Theater Workshop, Sundance Playwrights Retreat Fellowship at UCross, MacDowell Colony Artist Residency, and International Playwrights Residency at Royal Court (London). Her plays have received the Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award (Among the Dead), Honorable Mention from the 2014 Arch and Bruce Brown Playwriting Competition (Cardboard Piano), and was named 2014 finalist for the Ruby Prize (No More Sad Things).

Hansol Jung holds a Playwriting MFA from Yale School of Drama, and is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Theatre Writers Lab.  Upcoming: No More Sad Things Co-World Premiere at Sideshow Theatre (Chicago) and Boise Contemporary Theatre (Boise) in November 2015.

Martyna Majok was born in Bytom, Poland, and aged in Jersey and Chicago. Her plays have been performed and developed at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, LAByrinth Theatre Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Women’s Project Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The John F. Kennedy Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Dorset Theatre Festival, New York Stage & Film, Yale Cabaret, The Playwright and Director Center of Moscow, Round House Theatre, Satori Group, Red Tape Theatre, and The LIDA Project, among others. Awards include The David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship, Aurora Theatre’s Global Age Project Prize, National New Play Network’s Smith Prize for Political Playwriting, Jane Chambers Student Feminist Playwriting Prize, and The Merage Fellowship for the American Dream. Commissions from Manhattan Theatre Club, Marin Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The New Yorker, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and The Foundry Theatre. Publications by Samuel French and Smith & Kraus. Residencies at SPACE on Ryder Farm, Fuller Road, and Ragdale. BA: University of Chicago; MFA: Yale School of Drama. Martyna is currently studying at the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at The Juilliard School. She has taught playwriting at Williams College, Wesleyan University, SUNY Purchase, and as an assistant to Paula Vogel at Yale. Alumna of EST's Youngblood. Member of Women's Project Lab, Ars Nova’s Uncharted, The Dramatists Guild, and NYTW’s Usual Suspects. Martyna was the 2012-2013 NNPN playwright-in-residence. She is the 2015-2016 PoNY Fellow at The Lark. 

Lucy Thurber is the author of ten plays: Where We’re Born, Ashville, Scarcity, Killers and Other Family, Stay, Bottom of The World, Monstrosity, Dillingham City, The Locus and The Insurgents. Her five play cycle The Hill Town Plays was produced Off-Broadway by Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater in-conjunction with Cherry Lane Theater, Axis Theater and the New Ohio Theatre. The Insurgents was produced at the 2011 Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Bottom of The World and Scarcity were produced at the Atlantic Theater Company. Rattlestick Playwrights Theater has produced three of her plays, Where We’re Born, Killers and Other Family and Stay. Lucy wrote the text for QUIXOTE, conceived and directed by Lear deBessonet, a site-specific performance with the Psalters made for and with The Broad Street Community, also with Lear deBessonet and produced by 13P, Monstrosity. Scarcity was published in the December 2007 issue of American Theatre. She is published by Dramatists Play Service. Thurber is an alumni of New Dramatists, a member of 13P, Labyrinth Theater Company and Rising Phoenix Rep. She has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, The Contemporary American Theatre Festival, House on The Moon, WET and Yale Rep. She is the recipient of Manhattan Theatre Club Playwriting Fellowship, the 1st Gary Bonasorte Memorial Prize for Playwriting, a proud recipient of a LILLY AWARD and a 2014 OBIE Award for The Hill Town Plays.

ABOUT RITA GOLDBERG

Rita Goldberg’s love of theater and dramatic writing began when she was a Hunter College student enthralled with the work of Eugene O’Neill.  After getting married and raising four children - Andrew, Suzan, Josh and Mitchell - Rita embarked on a career as an independent education counselor and founding member of Independent Educational Consultants Association and its regional division. Because of her passion for theater and dramatic writing, Rita and her husband Burton established the Rita and Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Rita and Burton Goldberg MFA in Playwriting at Hunter College. She is on the Board of Trustees of the Lark and has followed Lark’s growth from its infancy and supported its progress through her patronage.

ABOUT THE LARK

The Lark is an international theater laboratory, based in New York City, dedicated to empowering playwrights by providing transformative support within a global community.   Founded in 1994, The Lark provides writers with funding, space, collaborators, audiences, professional connections, and the freedom to design their own processes of exploration. The guiding principal of Lark’s work is the belief that playwrights are society’s mythmakers, and their work strengthens our collective capacity to understand our world and imagine its future. 

Last year, The Lark served 907 artists, including 138 playwrights, partnered with over three dozen theaters and universities, and welcomed 3,000 audience members to 40 public presentations. In the past three years 169 Lark-developed plays moved on to 289 productions in more than a dozen countries around the world.  In order to provide economic flexibility to writers at different stages of their careers, The Lark has created a portfolio of major playwriting fellowships. The Lark continues to offer a free and open submission process that allows any and all writers to submit to our Playwrights’ Week program and maintains free admission to the public for all readings and workshops.  Plays substantially developed at The Lark include The Mountaintop by Katori Hall, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo by Rajiv Joseph, brownsville song (b-side for tray) by Kimber Lee and Detroit ’67 by Dominique Morisseau.  The Lark is led by its co-founder and Artistic Director John Clinton Eisner and Managing Director Michael Robertson. 

For more information about the artists, initiatives and plays of The Lark, please visit: www.larktheatre.org.

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