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Meet the 2018-19 Apprentice Team!

Lark News
The 2018-19 Lark Apprentice team gathered in from of a red curtain. Top row, Lauren DeLeon and Dani Stompor (Standing). Middle row: Kendra Flournoy and Shara Feit (Seated). Front row: Maria del Mar Fernandez Gonzalez (kneeling)

“The fall has come,” María said, “To talk of many things: of plays-and life –and goals of mine – of the Apprentice team! And why New York is boiling hot. And whether you’ll donate. Kaloo Kalay come read today, of the new Apprentice Team!”

Here is a playful “get to know us” interview spearheaded by me, the Communications Apprentice, María del Mar Fernández González. I had the pleasure of chatting with my peers, Kendra Ann Flournoy (Artistic Programs), Lauren Kiele DeLeon (Development), Daniel Stompor (Theater Management), and Shara Feit (Roundtables & Casting), to ask them a few thought provoking questions. There were fifteen questions completely unknown to them. I asked them to select three numbers at random and answer those selected as truthfully as possible.

Here’s what they said:

María: What’s your name, where are you from, and where were you before you came to The Lark?

Kendra: My full name is Kendra Ann Flournoy, I was in Detroit, well… Kalamazoo, Michigan before I came to The Lark. I recently finished up my MFA and I was teaching adjunct at Western Michigan University.

3) M: What do you wish you knew more about?

K: I want to explore the intersectionality of marginalized groups. I feel very rooted in my own experience as an African-American, and there are so many places where our struggles are different, yet intersect. So I want to be able to be more of an ally for those groups.

9) M: If you didn’t know how old you were, what age would you be? Why?

K: Haaa, that’s funny! Hmm, that’s interesting. There’s something about adolescence that’s very transitional. You feel like you’re learning so much and discovering so much about yourself. Yet still rooted? You really come into your sense of identity, during adolescence, but still in discovery. Although, I’m getting up there *chuckles* I still feel that level of discovery. I’m continuing to surprise myself, when I’m like “Oh, I feel very rooted in who I am right now,” and then something happens to change that.

M: So what age would that be?

K: I would say like... thirteen, because like I said, there’s just
something about adolescence, and so... thirteen!

5) M: If you could have any other position at The Lark, which one would it be?

K: Artistic Director! I think in sort of sweeping strokes, and I feel like right now The Lark’s niche is helping writers in process. But I just want to be able to help writers in
all stages, so I would expand The Lark’s reach. I think that while doing the artistic director role that mission can be reworked a little bit!

M: What’s your name, where are you from, and where were you before you came to The Lark?

Lauren: Cool, so my full name is Lauren Kiele DeLeon. I’m from Miami Beach but my family is Uruguayan. Before I was at The Lark I was a directing major at SUNY Purchase College, then I graduated and now I’m here!

3) M: What do you wish you knew more about? Why?

L: Oh man! Ugh... oh wow. This is hard! There are so many things I wish I knew more about! Umm... Ahh!! *freaks out internally* I wish I knew more about… history?! I think I’m really bad when it comes to facts and trivia and whatnot. I wish I could just have this vast understanding of history that wasn’t just told from like an “American history” side, but
world history. Not just told by the “winners” and the “white men,” but really what happened. Yeah, that would be great.

M: Why?

L: History is important because of the whole stereotypical “we need to know our history so it doesn’t repeat itself,” but also because there are
so many things that I think have been taught to me and people incorrectly, because we’re only given this “winning side” perspective of it. So to know more about real history and how everything actually went down I think will totally change the way in which we move forward from this point on.

7) M: If you could live the life of any other person, either fictional or alive, who would it be? Why?

ny fictional or real? Oh my God. I think Michelle Obama probably has a really amazing life story. Having her education is incredible, and what she does now is absolutely amazing, her ARMS ARE AMAZING! But I think she has such a significant impact and she’s such a badass... I don’t know if I can curse *giggles*

M: Well, we’ll see! *both laugh*

L: For a
badass woman of color in this country and how historic she is, and is going to be! Man, I just really... really admire her.

15) M: When was the last time you changed your opinion/belief about something major?

L: Woah. Okay I guess… The idea that to believe you’ve fully “made it” you
have to be on Broadway and you have to win a Tony. I’ve changed my opinion on that because it’s so… exclusive of an environment to be in, and it doesn’t always reflect the quality of the art itself at all. There is so much more aside from Broadway that is so impactful and important to the world, and needs just as much admiration, if not more so. So yeah, I changed my opinion on how I want to view my own success, and that’s very enlightening, and lifts a whole lot of weight off my shoulders.

M: What’s your name, where are you from, and where were you before you came to The Lark?

I’m Dani Stomper and I’m from Chicagoland, IL. Before The Lark I was living in Bushwick, so I’m from New York!

7) M: If you could live the life of any other person, either fictional or alive, who would it be? Why?

D: And it can’t be
my life?!

M: It could, but if you had to choose any other, whose would it be?

D: Okay… For the sake of it, let’s say it’s not me. *freaks out internally, following nervous laughter* I want to be... The Sandman from Neil Gaiman’s series! 1. Because it’s Goth as hell *giggles* 2. I feel like there’s just so much love for imagination in those stories, and just like pure love of stories… yeah. The Sandman!

12) M: If you could be skilled at anything, what would it be?

D: At anything? OHH, Ugh… hmm. Skilled at... Networking! Or like finding people? I feel like the biggest challenge in life, especially as an artist, is finding people who you can gel with artistically and are going to support you. When I moved to New York I spent so many months just trying to find the people who I knew would have my back, and who are interested in me. So yes, if I had any skill it’d be to look into a crowd of people and be like that’s the person who I’m going to connect with.

M: Now last question?

Dani *breathes in deeply*

4) M: What’s the latest piece of art that’s really affected you?

D: Well I don’t know if it counts as art, but I was reading this collection of interviews, about some members of the Vietnamese rebel unit, who took pictures with Jane Fonda when she visited Vietnam, and talk about how that one event shaped their lives. The ways in which that story has been taken from the people who it was meant for. The whole purpose of her visit was to increase the visibility and humanity of these people, and it did the absolute opposite. A lot of people in that unit became reviled and some were even hunted. Scary.

M: What’s your name, where are you from, and where were you before you came to The Lark?​

Shara: My full name is Shara Naomi Zierler Feit. I am from New York City, and before The Lark I was a student at Northwestern University.

4) M: What’s the latest piece of art that’s really affected you?

: Collective Rage by Jen Silvermen! I read it and it just knocked it off my feet. Also The Power by Naomi Alderman, I was up until four in the morning reading it.

12) M: If you could be skilled at anything, what would it be?

S: Does it have to be realistic? Could I pick invisibility? Or like flying?! Actually, no. I really want to be good at playing piano or any music instrument really. Be good at playing the drums. I don’t play drums, but I think it’d be really cool to play them.

8) M: What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their life?

S: Learn another language! Or like travel to a place that is completely new to you, but not in a colonialist kind of way.

Lauren: What’s your name, where are you from, and where were you before you came to The Lark?

María: My name is María del Mar Fernández González, I’m from... Oh my God I blanked *giggles* Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo. I was in Boston, just graduated from Emerson College with a BFA in Theatre & Performance.

Lauren: Yess!! Alright, what would you want your first question to be?

M: I think ten hasn’t been asked. What is it?!

L: Bueno, among your friends and family, what are you most famous for?

M: Probably being the most energetic person in the room, and somehow always finding a way to make everybody laugh!

L: Out of order, I like it. What is the most fun fact you know?

M: OH MY GOD. Did you KNOW that daddy long legs are one of the most poisonous spiders in the world, but their fangs are too small to like bite us, so they can’t get us! That’s wild, but honestly too relatable.

L: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

M: I was asked this in my recruitment for my professional sorority, and I remember I said this answer, which is still true to this day. My greatest accomplishment so far is forgiveness and letting go. It’s definitely allowed me space to heal and free myself from the past so I can move forward and be happy.

We are more than thrilled to join The Lark on this new season, and encourage you all to come to our readings and events. We’d love to meet you!