Tim J. Lord Selected as First Ever Recipient of The Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellowship
The Apothetae, a theater company committed to the production of works that explore and illuminate the “Disabled Experience,” and The Lark, a play development lab devoted to equity, community, and the power of an individual artistic voice, are thrilled to announce the inaugural recipient of The Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellowship for a Disabled writer is Tim J. Lord. The Fellowship, made possible with leadership support from the Time Warner Foundation, and additional support from Jody Falco and Jeffrey Steinman, includes a two-year residency for a Disabled Writer, a cash award of $40,000, plus a $5,000 Opportunity Fund for project-related expenses, and control over a $10,000 Production Enhancement Fund, to be allocated to a producing theater in support of a full production of one of the Fellow’s plays. The Fellowship also includes access to a wide range of Lark and Apothetae resources, including artistic program participation, office and rehearsal space, and staff support.
Tim, a St. Louis native, now based in Minneapolis after ten years in New York, is a playwright whose work tends to explore the relationships between communities and the physical landscapes they inhabit via our shared mythologies. His plays follow characters who attempt to navigate the fates that have been written for them, and grapple with circumstances beyond their own control.
"I have spent a lifetime not taking anything for granted, so when things go off the rails I am prepared to find alternate ways. It’s why when I write plays my characters tend to be outsiders struggling to find their way through a “normal” world," said Tim. "No one wants to talk about weakness, that's cool, neither do I. I want to talk about strength and how we, the disabled...can be leaders and guides."
Tim was selected from a pool of 73 applicants, by a committee comprised of Apothetae and Lark artistic staff, alongside individual artists aligned with the program’s mission. Members of the committee included Jesse Cameron Alick (The Public Theater), Christine Bruno (Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts), Andrea Hiebler (Director of Scouting and Submissions, The Lark), Gregg Mozgala (Founder and Artistic Director, The Apothetae), Lloyd Suh (Director of Artistic Programs, The Lark), and Alexandria Wailes (Deaf West). In addition to the selection of the Fellow, three finalists for the award were chosen to receive a $5,000 honorarium. They are Oya Mae Duchess-Davis, Jerron Herman, and Magda Romanska.
“The depth and breadth of talent within the application pool was astonishing, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to honor Oya Mae, Jerron, Magda, and Tim in this way,” said Lloyd, Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark. “They each have such distinct gifts as storytellers, and a passion and commitment to diversifying the cultural conversation surrounding Disability. In very different ways, their work is ambitious, personal, and challenging, and I’m so excited about what they will do next.”
The Apothetae at Lark Playwriting Fellowship is the centerpiece of a broad Apothetae and Lark Initiative, designed to provide an unprecedented platform of financial and artistic support and advocacy for Disabled Artists, and to promote the generation of new plays with the power to revolutionize the cultural conversation surrounding Disability. The Fellowship and Initiative were born directly out of conversations with members of the Disabled and d/Deaf Communities, held at The Lark in May of 2015 and January of 2016. At both convenings, three major needs were expressed: more material, more opportunities (which are perpetuated by the creation of more material), and more convening as a community. The Apothetae and The Lark have been working in partnership, to address these needs, as well as the profound underrepresentation and oppressive misrepresentation of people with disabilities that persists throughout our cultural media.
“I believe theater offers one of the greatest venues for perceptions about Disability to change; it is immediate, events happen in real time, and it demands participation,” said Gregg. “It also provides visibility, creates community, and serves as a place of inclusion and a forum for ideas. The Disabled Community, and the experiences of that community, are incredibly varied and complex… I believe what makes Disability hard to define and codify is the same thing that makes it inherently dramatic in nature. And worthy of rigorous exploration.”
The Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellowship is a critical component in The Lark’s acclaimed portfolio of fellowships, designed to engage a diverse community of extraordinary playwrights at various places in their careers, who represent, collectively, a contemporary national vision. The Lark believes that targeted support is essential to a culture of equity, access, and inclusion, and a national theater that represents the vibrancy and complexity of our collective cultural voices.
“The creation of new works and the re-appropriation of existing works can help frame our experience in a historical context while simultaneously creating new mythologies,” says Mozgala. “It finally allows us to take ownership of our personal and collective identity.”
ABOUT THE APOTHETAE
The Apothetae is a company dedicated to the production of full-length plays that explore and illuminate the "Disabled Experience." To do this, The Apothetae focuses on newly commissioned works by both established and up and coming playwrights, and plays that already exist in the theatrical canon featuring characters with disabilities or dealing with disabled themes: Oedipus, Richard III, The Elephant Man, etc. By making visible the human impact of disabled people throughout history, The Apothetae believes empathy can be practiced, perceptions changed, and new communities forged through the collaborative and transformative power of the artistic process. For more information about The Apothetae, please visit: www.theapothetae.org.
ABOUT THE TIME WARNER FOUNDATION
The Time Warner Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation that is wholly supported by Time Warner Inc. and its subsidiary companies Home Box Office, Inc., Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. Its mission is to seek innovative and powerful ways to discover, nurture and celebrate the next generation of storytellers. The Foundation strives to build impactful partnerships with best-in-class nonprofit organizations that push the boundaries of artist development and support underrepresented storytellers. The Foundation's ultimate goal is the cultivation of an artistic community that is rich, vibrant and relevant to audiences of today and tomorrow. For more information, please visit: www.timewarnerfoundation.org.