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What We're Reading: January 2020

What We're Reading
Scattered newspapers and magazines rest on a wood surface.

As members of an organization that believes in the power of conversation to promote systemic change, the team here at The Lark often circulates, among ourselves, anecdotes and emails about materials we've read lately that have moved us. In accordance with our commitment to the amplification of necessary voices that reflect the world we live in, this monthly post compiles some of the media we have been tuned in to, to share with our wider community. We know these are only a sampling of all the insightful work out there, so if we missed anything that had an impact on you this month, we encourage you to share in the comments section!

Woolly Mammoth’s New Leader Wants to Run the Most Woke Theater in Washington

By Rosa Cartagena

"To survive long-term, companies such as Woolly need to convince social-justice-minded, cash-challenged millennials to buy tickets. The crucial challenge: Can they do this without alienating a crowd who, liberal as they may be, might also be slower to get with the times? Or do you have to, in effect, fire one audience to lure the other?"

How Maria Manuela Goyanes has pushed the Woolly Mammoth community to be more inclusive through her programming, leadership, and even a Board of Trustees book club.

Mike Lew's Twitter thread in response to this New York Times article

"To focus on money primarily ignores so many crucial undercurrents. No one goes into playwriting thinking they're going to make a killing, we go in believing our voices are worth hearing and will be valued and dignified."

A reflection on an article about playwrights leaving the theater field for television, in order to make enough to pay off their MFA student debts.

Mary Kathryn Nagle Asks Us to Remember "Manahatta"

By Nicole Chung

"The point I’m trying to make is that we carry our past with us — it’s who we are today. So when you see an actor go from playing Peter Minuit from the Dutch West India Company to Dick Fuld on Wall Street, I don’t have to say 'traders on Wall Street are following in the footsteps of the people that kicked the Lenape out of their ancestral homeland'; you get that already."

An interview from last season in Shondaland, in which Mary Kathryn Nagle discusses the premiere of her play Manahatta at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We bring this interview up in advance of the next production, set to open at Yale Rep later this month!

Difference, not deficit

By Daphna WeinstockTEDxNorthwesternU

"Not only is there no such thing as normal, but when you change what's accepted and perceived as normal, you create something extraordinary for everybody involved."

A Chicago company designs theater for neurodivergent youth that is based on sensory experience, and employs a model that includes deemphasizing linear plot and encouraging the impulses of the audience.

9 Climate Activists of Color You Should Know

By Rachel Janfaza

"I believe it is greatly important to recognize that social justice and environmental justice go hand in hand... in terms of “solving” the climate crisis, we must dismantle systems of oppression to ensure that certain communities are not at greater environmental risks than others."

Teen Vogue 
profiled these young leaders whose activism largely recognizes colonialism as a leading cause of climate injustice.

Podcast: Bedroom Eyes

With Juno Mariah

"That's one of the first steps in dismantling the power that gender has over us, is to recognize that it is socially constructed, and so then we can see how it can possibly be changed..."

An introspective podcast about the creator's personal experiences and learnings about sexuality, gender, consciousness, culture, and politics. Recent episodes include "Gender Disobedience" and "Consent is Not Radical."

Book Riot's 2020 Read Harder Challenge

By Book Riot Community

"Read a middle grade book that doesn’t take place in the US or the UK; Read a book with a main character or protagonist with a disability..."

A list of 24 tasks designed to help you break out of your reading bubble and expand your worldview through books.