Lark Gets a New Look
At The Lark we value evolution. We strive to create an environment that thrives on cycles of goal setting and program assessments that result in organic changes and shifts in programming. At its core, The Lark is built on questions. How can we better serve playwrights? What role can The Lark play in adding to the vibrancy and diversity of the theatrical landscape? How can we build a place where each individual feels welcome to be a part of the creative community?
Several years ago community members informed us that our communications tools failed to reflect this commitment to evolution. It was time to lend some of that question-asking spirit and rigor to our marketing materials, more specifically to our website which appeared stuck in the year 2000. In true Lark fashion, Michael and John decided to make communications a strategic area of focus (I challenge you to find two leaders more fueled by feedback.).
So for the past two years, The Lark’s communications team, along with help from our incredible community, has been hard at work crafting a website and new visual identity that better reflects who we are as an organization. Our goals have been to provide greater clarity and visibility for The Lark, to build community by making it easy and fun to get involved, to show our commitment to access and inclusion and to effectively tell the story of The Lark. We've met with consultants, held focus groups, established “personality words” and a positioning statement, discussed big dreams for our website and blog and wrestled for months on a tagline. And now (drumroll, please), we are excited to announce the release of our new look and this newly redesigned website!
Getting to the Point with Our Name
As you may have noticed, we are referring to ourselves as The Lark and dropping “Play Development Center” from our name. During our discovery process we learned that the “Play Development Center” portion of our name, while at one time a vital part of distinguishing our place in the theatrical ecosystem, was now feeling a little long, a little confusing, and not truly reflective of our mission to focus on the playwright. As an added bonus, we can more easily fit into the word limit of your bio! And maybe your roommate will remember our name when you mention that you are attending a reading at The Lark.
Plays in Process for a World in Progress
And after that reading, when your roommate asks what The Lark is, you can try our new tagline on for size: Plays in Process for a World in Progress. This is what we do, though we weren’t quite sure how to say it. When we decided to reshape our tagline, we wanted to be sure that we chose a phrase unique to us. We were determined to provide a window into our process-as-product orientation while reflecting our personality, capturing our global aspirations, and reinforcing our strongly-held belief that playwrights can change the world. Our tagline was to be catchy, digestible, and under no circumstances was it to exceed eight words. After an exciting, challenging, and sometimes grueling process, we settled on Plays in Process for a World in Progress – hopefully it’s a message that speaks to you!
Lark Talks: Sparking Global Conversation through Playwriting
Along with the website, we’re excited to bring you Lark Talks: a space that exists to create and share content specifically for the playwright. The Lark’s larger mission and vision of transformative support for all playwrights around the globe, despite gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and ability, will constitute the base from which we publish content. Through this blog, we aspire to raise the level of consciousness around the subject of playwriting and how storytellers have the power to improve our world.
“Lark Talks” is a derivative of the Twitter account of the same title that is home to #TheatreTalk, a monthly, online discussion with playwrights Kristoffer Diaz, Mona Mansour, Dominque Morisseau, Gus Schulenburg, and Tori Keenan-Zelt. Once a month for the past 12 months, these five playwrights and the larger community banded together to discuss the craft, social injustice, gender parity, and the theater field at large. These conversations provided the impetus to turn the blog from an idea into reality.
We are launching the blog with several features including:
- The Playwrights’ Corner – A continuation of what was formerly titled Behind-the-Scenes, where our current playwrights discuss their plays in development at The Lark with fellow playwrights. #PlaywrightsCorner
- The Nest: Things to Do, Hear and See – A culmination of Lark-developed plays, listings of festivals and productions, events and panels involving artists in our community. #TheNest
- The Playwrights’ Playlists – A playlist of 15 songs that inspires a playwright, moves them to step inside that creative space where artistry flows, or just simply aids with unwinding at day’s end. #Playwrightsplaylist
- The Chirp – A list of submission opportunities. #TheChirp
With blogging comes great responsibility… and time, and effort, maybe a bit of sweat and tears, but at The Lark, that’s one concoction we’re not afraid to down.
A Big Thank You...
The new look of The Lark was a real team effort. Our communication team (Anna Kull, Michael Robertson, Jake Schwartzwald and TJ Weaver) would like to send very special thanks to all who contributed including, but certainly not limited to: The Booth Ferris Foundation, Big Duck, blenderbox, Maggie Albert, Morgan Allen, Jen Brady, Bruce Cohen, Greg Coleman, Sandi Farkas, Olivia George, Colin Greer, The Lark Staff and Apprentices, Deb McAlister, Matthew Paul Olmos, Ilene Rosen, Marta Tellado, Donna Walker-Kuhne, Melinda Weekes-Laidlow and the generous artists who contributed feedback during this process.
We recognize that it is our relationships -with artists, donors, audience members and theater-makers worldwide - that are our greatest strength. We decided to prioritize communications because we prioritize these relationships. And we will be continuing to seek ways to strengthen our tools, increase our accessibility and further our mission through conversation. We hope you will enjoy using the new website, find an interesting article on our blog and join in the conversation. And watch out as we continue to add new content over the coming months. Thank you for being a part of our ever-evolving journey!