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Meet the Apprentices: 2017-18

Lark News
From left to right: Anna Brenner gives two thumbs up, Sarah Haber puffs out her cheeks, Chloe Knight looks incredulous, Mona Moriya does a peace sign over her eye, and Chris Reyes swings his hand out to the side.

Outside, the city goes quiet, burdened by a restless summer. The winds grow chilly and the verdant leaves crumble under a crimson hue. If you listen closely, you can hear the gentle fluttering of wings as five new Larkees join the nest, eager to be an active part of The Lark’s mission. During a ten-month-long residency, the apprentices work alongside the close-knit staff and get a unique, hands-on opportunity to be an integral part of supporting visionary playwrights.

As the Communications Apprentice, I had the chance to sit down with my peers, Anna Alison Brenner (Roundtable and Casting), Sarah Haber (Artistic Programs), Chloe Knight (Development), and Mona Moriya (Global Exchange), and ask them a few questions about who they are as artists and their lives outside the office.

CHRISTOPHER REYES: What fictional place would you most like to go?

SARAH HABER: Hogwarts.

CR: What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

SH: How to lobby Congress.

CR: If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

SH: Travel. And catch up on all the TV that everyone else is always talking about. Seriously, there are so many shows, how are people watching all of them?

CR: What is your favorite reading material?

MONA MORIYA: I tend to go through phases with what I read but I always go back to fiction novels and plays. I typically like realism in books and more experimental content with plays, although I'm huge fan of Haruki Murakami's use of magical realism. I've read six of his books and am currently reading his latest, Colorless Tsuskuru Tazaki. I have a soft spot for Murakami because I think he captures a sense of Japanese identity and values that aren't always talked about and he makes me feel really connected to my Japanese heritage despite not growing up in Japan.

CR: Are there particular artists that have influenced you?

MM: I have vivid memories of my mom playing Whitney Houston in the house when I was little and her grace, talent and tenacity reminds me so much of my own mother. Diana Son is also a huge inspiration of mine. Her play R.A.W ('Cause I'm a Woman) is incredible and has influenced who I am as an Asian-American identifying actor and writer.

CR: What piece of entertainment do you wish you could erase from your mind so you could experience it for the first time again?

MM: HBO's Big Little Lies. I watched this show every week when it was airing on TV and I wish I could have binge watched it. Sometimes I would have to pause the show and walk around my apartment because I didn't want the episodes to end. If you haven't seen the show, it's a MUST. I think it's the perfect blend of suspense and complicated family dynamics.

CR: What kind of art do you enjoy most?

CHLOE KNIGHT: Aside from theater, I really love modern art. When I need to relax, I love going to whatever modern art museum is near me. I think there is something really special about the architecture that often houses modern art like the modern wing at The Art Institute of Chicago, The Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston), and the MoMa.

CR: If you could erase one piece of media from you're memory, what would it be?

CK: The “Shoes” video that was really popular on YouTube 10 years ago.

CR: What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with no preparation?

CK: Tarot cards (ask me for a reading).

CR: What inspires you?

ANNA ALISON BRENNER: Tennessee Williams, James Baldwin, and Flannery O'Connor. Oddly-prescient overheard conversations. Family mythology and oral histories. And, of course, all those real-life moments that feel stranger than fiction.

CR: When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

AAB: The starting third base(wo)man for the New York Yankees. Because why not?

CR: How do you overcome creative blocks?

AAB: I try to get out of my comfort zone and go on an adventure. Then I write about it.

At the end of the interviews, I found myself in an awkward position as I was the one posing the questions. So I walked into the bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror, and in my best Joan Rivers “what are you wearing?” voice, asked myself the following questions:

CR: What would be your first question after waking up from being cryogenically frozen for 100 years?

CR: Is One Direction finally back together?

CR: If you had a clock that would countdown to any one event of your choosing, what event would you want it to countdown to?

CR: The end of the current administration.

CR: What fictional place would you most like to go?

CR: I would want to travel to Hayao Miyazaki’s universe. I’ve been in love with his films since I stumbled upon Spirited Away while channel surfing one lazy Saturday afternoon in high school. The scope of his imagination is so vast and breathtaking. He has a way of portraying the harsh truths about growing up without losing a sense of childlike wonder. If anything, his films often remind me that adulthood doesn’t have to be a labored affair. It’s still okay to have fun and be excited with the world while maintaining a sense of awareness and maturity.