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The Lark Will Stage a BareBones® Workshop Production of Donja R. Love's IN THE MIDDLE

Lark News
Headshot of Donja R. Love

NEW YORK, NY – The Lark is thrilled to announce that after a five year hiatus, its BareBones® program will return in March 2018, with a workshop production of In the Middle by Donja R. Love (soft, Sugar in Our Wounds) to be directed by Saheem Ali (Twelfth Night, The Public Theater). In the Middle is the third and final play in Love’s trilogy, The Love* Plays, a surrealistic exploration of *Queer Love during pivotal moments in Black History: Slavery (Sugar in Our Wounds), The Civil Rights Movement (Fireflies), and the Black Lives Matter movement (In the Middle). The workshop will run at The Lark’s BareBones® Studio from March 2–11, 2018, at 311 West 43rd Street, 5th Floor, New York City.

“My plays examine identity by unapologetically dramatizing the multifaceted nuance of Blackness and Queerness – a diverse intersection filled with colorful stories,” said Love. “Throughout history, the stories of those that exist on the margins have often been erased. The existence of Queer people of color, particularly of African descent, has repeatedly been washed over, or forgotten altogether. I set out to create a body of work that honors those neglected stories.”

In the Middle follows Mary, a woman with a cracked past, who finds herself paralyzed with grief after her son is gunned down by police. Love developed the play during his 2016-17 Van Lier New Voices Fellowship at The Lark, a fellowship designed to help address the lack of inclusion of early career playwrights of color in the theater field. It provides writers of color under 30 with significant artistic and financial support, including a $15,000 stipend, and an individually-tailored program of Lark play development opportunities. Love has worked on In the Middle through multiple Lark programs, including Monthly Meeting of the Minds, Roundtables, and a Studio Retreat, which included the first public reading of the play in May 2017, and at which The Lark hosted a post-show panel discussion entitled The Importance of Radical Queer Narratives on Stage and Beyond, conceived by Love as a way to further the impact he aims for his work to have.

Sugar In Our Wounds, Fireflies, and In The Middle force us to reckon with the fact that love, without being monolithic, is our most essential need and deserved by all,” said Love. “It is my hope that these plays encourage people to be fearless by placing themselves in a world that does not dwell on their tragedy or ‘otherness’, but rather fully celebrates them and their stories.”

Sugar in Our Wounds, the first play in the trilogy, will receive its world premiere production this spring at Manhattan Theatre Club.

BareBones® are simply staged and rehearsed, off-book, public presentations of plays in the later stages of development. BareBones® are The Lark’s most intensive development workshops, with plays receiving three weeks of rehearsal, and up to eight public performances. Past BareBones® productions include Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company 2015) Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop (Broadway 2011, Olivier Award for Best Play 2010), and Rajiv Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Broadway 2011, Pulitzer Prize nominee).

BareBones® are made possible in part by support from FJC, A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds. Lark programs are made possible with leadership support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the National Endowment for the Arts with additional support from the New York State Council on the Arts, and Axe-Houghton Foundation.

All tickets for In the Middle are free. Reservations are required and can be made through The Lark’s website beginning January 15th. The performance on Sunday, March 4 at 3:00pm will be followed by a panel and open conversation, centered around Queerness in the Black Lives Matter movement, coordinated by Hari Ziyad (RaceBaitR) and moderated by Erika Dickerson-Despenza (Black Women’s Blueprint).

The Lark is ADA accessible. For specific questions or requests regarding accessibility, please contact Megan McClain at (212) 246-2676, or meganm@larktheatre.org.

This show is not open for review, however process-oriented articles and features are encouraged.

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