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Spotlight On: Stacy Waring, The Lark’s New Executive Director

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Headshot of Stacy Waring
When Stacy Waring first became a member of The Lark family in 2009, as the stage manager for Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, her passion and skill for supporting playwrights and their unique stories was immediately clear. Now, in light of all she has done for the organization and our artists over the past decade, we are excited to celebrate Stacy’s appointment as The Lark’s new Executive Director by sharing a little bit more with you about her journey at The Lark. Stacy joined The Lark staff as General Manager in 2015, became The Lark's Director of Operations in 2017, and began the Executive Director role on March 11, 2020. In her new position, Stacy will lead the organization alongside Artistic Director John Clinton Eisner, managing The Lark’s business and operational affairs and strategies. “In more ways than I could ever count, Stacy has shown passion for and dedication to The Lark’s core mission of providing 360-degree support for playwrights,” said John. Stacy will work with The Lark team to strengthen the organization, continue to uphold its values of Equity, Access, and Inclusion, and uplift the voices of our visionary playwrights and their work.

“As a passionate member of The Lark’s artistic community and a board member, I am overjoyed that Stacy Waring has been promoted to the position of Executive Director at The Lark,” said Katori. “Her commitment to the world of theater is unparalleled in my eyes, as I have witnessed her work tirelessly, her entire career, to support new work and playwrights of promise. She believes in the possibility for theater to change the world and has used her skillset of organization and fiscal understanding to create space, in the shrinking real estate in our industry, for truly innovative storytelling. She will be a supporter, a fighter, and a creative thinker in these unprecedented times that have seen our industry crumble overnight. To have Stacy at the helm as we steer through the dark will be a boon for this organization and for the theater community as a whole."

Prior to joining The Lark, Stacy had a 20-year career as a Production Stage Manager working on new, experimental, and classic productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and abroad. Reflecting on her dedication to theater, Stacy shared “I began my career stage managing under the tutelage of Tunde Samuels and Barbara Ann Teer at National Black Theatre. When I was first introduced to them, I didn’t even know what a stage manager was, much less the fact that they pioneered the black theater movement in the ‘70s. What I did know was that I desperately needed a way to ground my life. To steady an emerging identity that I didn’t fully understand. The richness I found there, the heritage and legacy, was food for my soul.” 

Throughout her career, Stacy has worked with theaters such as Crossroads Theatre, The Public Theater, New Federal Theatre, Lincoln Center, Negro Ensemble Company, Geffen Playhouse, Black Spectrum Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Company, and toured across Europe and Asia. In 2012, Stacy became Director of Theater Operations for the world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem.

“My rearing in black theater grounded me both culturally and professionally,” said Stacy. “There, I found courage. I found connection, and most importantly, I found community.
Courage, connection, and community are at the core of what theater is to me.”

Stacy is a caretaker of the Lark community. You can often find her helping to pour drinks after public events, striving to make The Lark a welcoming place at all levels of the organization, and navigating whatever challenge presents itself. Two winters in a row, pipes burst at 311 West 43rd Street and The Lark’s space flooded. Stacy seamlessly navigated the aftermath from floor to ceiling. Literally.

“Stacy’s one of those people that makes you feel like as long as things are in her hands, they will be okay,”said playwright Dominique Morriseau, who also worked with Stacy while acting in the lead role of The Mountaintop in 2009. “Her gentle tone and calm wisdom reflect such a strong sense of power and empowerment of others. To know that she is now the new Executive Director, I feel like things in The Lark will be restored while things in the world remain uncertain. It’s time for new vision everywhere, and Stacy Waring is the perfect visionary for my beloved Lark!” 

Stacy’s skills have long been an integral component to the growth of The Lark. She stage managed the first year of The New Black Fest at The Lark, which became an annual festival and partnership of which we are extraordinarily proud. When she took charge of finances in 2017, Stacy redesigned the organization’s budgeting process to increase transparency and interdepartmental collaboration, as well as to extend the timeline to allow for a more strategic and inclusive process. Through all of her varied work at The Lark, Stacy has remained steadfastly invested in community building.  

“Theater’s ability to touch, transform, and connect people was and is exciting to me,” said Stacy. “Through it, I am able to express myself dimensionally. I cherish its ability to open up our worlds to one another and provide context for our passions and vulnerabilities. Theater is brave. The Lark is brave. And I am deeply excited at having an opportunity to protect and sustain the precious space that The Lark has created for playwrights, for people, and for our communities.”

We are thrilled to have someone holding the values of courage, connection, and community in the role of Executive Director. Please join us in celebrating Stacy Waring!

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