A Platform for Free Expression & Rigorous Experimentation
The Lark was founded in 1994 as a counterpoint to the prevailing commodity-based culture of theater. While we produced both classic and new plays in the beginning, our emphasis has always been on a deep engagement with the creative process.
In the spring of 1995, The Lark's inaugural Playwrights' Week revealed a field-wide need to support new voices. This catalyzed a three-year transition during which the organization increasingly focused on new plays and invented its BareBones® model for sharing work with the public in exciting and minimalist ways. Ultimately, The Lark turned entirely to playwright-centric, artist-guided development. Distancing itself from the constraints of the marketplace and working from a standpoint of “process as product,” The Lark soon established itself as a platform for free expression and rigorous experimentation.
Creating Community, Here at Home and Abroad
The next vital step in our evolution involved building and fostering a community of artists, producers, and theatergoers with shared values – both in New York and around the world. We introduced like-minded artists to one another and provided new-play-lovers with access to the development process through public readings and events. And we built relationships with theaters and producers to provide avenues for playwrights to continue to see their work developed and produced.
Providing Sustained Support
Finally, we took on the challenge of providing sustained support for playwrights and their plays. The Lark made its resources accessible to a diverse community of writers who helped design programs so that they served real needs. The Lark created a portfolio of significant fellowships for artists at different points in their careers, organized theater leaders to "create a movement" around individual playwrights and launched an ambitious international exchange and translation program. Today, The Lark continues to bring together artists, audiences and producers to explore the role and meaning of theater in the 21st century.
Continuing to Connect
The evolution of The Lark is by no means over. Every day and every year, The Lark continues to evolve in order to serve the next need of the larger theatrical community. This involves seeking out voices that have yet to be heard, exploring new avenues for support, and positioning ourselves to enact change whenever the opportunity presents itself. Much as a playwright’s process never ends, The Lark is in a perpetual state of development, never perfect, but continually striving to improve the theatrical landscape.
Explore The Lark's History
The Lark's been around for more than 24 years... that's over 288 months... 8,640 days... we'll stick with supporting playwrights and leave the math to you.