The Lark Sets Lineup for 25th Annual Playwrights' Week
NEW YORK, NY– The Lark is thrilled to announce five plays and playwrights have been chosen through its Open Access Program for the 25th Annual Playwrights’ Week. This year’s plays, selected from a pool of over 1,200 submissions, will be: Sistren by Erin Buckley; Even Flowers Bloom in Hell, Sometimes by Franky D. Gonzalez; As Is: Conversations With Big Black Women in Confined Spaces by Stacey Rose; form of a girl unknown by Charly Evon Simpson; and Desarrollo by Juliany Taveras. The selected playwrights will participate in an intensive seven-day retreat, designed to foster a peer-based community among the writers, their creative teams, and The Lark’s staff.
“Together, these five fantastic plays provide a compelling snapshot of the myriad evolving ways in which we identify, express, and understand ourselves as individuals navigating a shifting societal landscape,” said Andrea Hiebler, Director of Scouting and Submissions at The Lark. “These writers deftly explore how profoundly the physical and psychological spaces that we construct and inhabit can shape discrete stories as well as shared cultural narratives writ large.”
Playwrights’ Week 2018 will take place November 5 – 9, 2018, when writers will each have twelve hours of rehearsal in advance of a festival of public readings, designed to serve as an extension of the rehearsal process. The week will kick off with The Lark’s annual Meet the Writers event, sponsored by Dramatists Play Service, Inc., featuring a panel discussion with the writers, and excerpts from each of the plays, read by the playwrights themselves. The panel will be moderated by Andrea and Krista Williams (Roundtable and Casting Director, The Lark), and will be streamed via Facebook Live. Full schedule and ticketing information is available at larktheatre.org.
The goal of Playwrights’ Week is to provide support for plays in various stages of development, by writers at a range of places in their careers. The program aims to help participating writers develop their work, by focusing on a set of self-defined goals, outlined in their initial application.
“Playwrights' Week shifted my relationship to the piece in a pivotal way,” said playwright Sam Chanse, whose play The Other Instinct was part of Playwrights’ Week 2017. “Before Playwrights Week, I'd been feeling disconnected from the play. Maybe a bit stuck, maybe a bit demoralized. The process at Playwrights Week unlocked something, and allowed me to make some key changes within the week, and to understand how I might address other elements moving forward. The week overall invigorated the play for me and renewed my enthusiasm for working on the piece.”
Each submission is read with all of the writer’s identifying information removed, by a committee of readers from across the country, within The Lark’s network. Scripts are evaluated using a multi-step process that reviews the play’s strength of voice, uniqueness of perspective, and emotional impact.
Other recent works developed in Playwrights’ Week include:The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse (upcoming world premiere at Playwrights Horizons); Moon Man Walk by James Ijames (Definition Theater Company, 2018); Against the Hillside by Sylvia Khoury (world premiere at Ensemble Studio Theatre, 2018); The Antelope Party by Eric John Meyer (world premiere at Theater Wit, 2018); Detroit ‘67 by Dominique Morisseau, winner of the 2014 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, (world premiere at The Public Theater, 2013); and The Nether by Jennifer Haley, winner of the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and seven Ovation Awards (2013) including Playwriting for an Original Play (world premiere at Kirk Douglas Theater, 2013).
Playwrights' Week is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts with additional support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and Axe-Houghton Foundation.
ABOUT DRAMATISTS PLAY SERVICE
Founded by The Dramatists Guild and a number of prominent theater agents, Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (DPS) was created to foster national opportunities for playwrights by publishing affordable editions of their plays and handling the performance rights to these works. DPS has since grown steadily to become one of the premier play-licensing and theatrical publishing agencies in the world. Offering an extensive list of titles that includes many of the most significant plays of the past century, DPS preserves the rich history of drama. It works with thousands of theaters to ensure the future vitality of the theater. It is committed to providing a home for established writers and to nurturing new playwrights of exceptional promise. Dramatists Play Service is sponsoring the 2018 Meet the Writers event.
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