What We're Reading: July 2021
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!
Yes, it is absolutely fine for you to ask that this new play developmental workshop serve your vision in this moment to make this play what you want it to be before you give it away to the production process and the many amazing collaborators who will, when, at the appropriate time in the process, add their artistic vision of what the play can be.
Thoughts about internships
Recently there have been a lot of conversations online about inequitable practices around theater internships, so a few of the things we've been tuned into are this Call-In to the Eugene O'Neill, Change Berkshire Culture's Instagram, and Lauren Halvorsen's Nothing for the Group newsletter "collective action round-up: WTF & the O'Neill (part 2!)." In the past, we have shared resources and articles around pay equity for theater internships in this blog post by former Lark apprentice, Wenxuan Xue, "Small Changes, Big Results: Paying Our Theater Interns." The Lark commits to bringing back its apprenticeship program when we are able to pay an equitable wage to our apprentices.
Building Our Own Tables, hosted by Yura Sapi with Michelle Banks
Michelle Banks: "[Visionaries of the Creative Arts] was born out of what I viewed in the BIPOC Deaf and hard-of-hearing community. And it was started right here in my hometown. We saw the need to do something here in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. And look at what society thought was a marginalized community and show that we indeed had enormous amount of skill and talent. We wanted to uplift our community by providing additional leadership and guidance into what they aspire to be. Some wanted to be directors, actors, producers, and we would be there to guide and assist them as necessary. That’s how VOCA was formed."
Part II, by Joey Stocks, Todd Bauer, Nikki Brake-Sillá and Jewelle Gomez
Jewelle Gomez: "This is our chance to change things and I think if we, as individuals, start to widen our perspective on how we look at other individuals, it becomes easier. So, if organizations, institutions, can look at me and say, 'Here’s a woman of color, she’s older, female, lesbian,' and then keep looking—so while they know I have those things going for me, I also am a novelist, I am a poet, I write speculative fiction, I’m from Boston, which is a very specific place to be from. When a theatre takes me on, they get all of those things. They get someone who could talk with another playwright who might be interested in writing science fiction plays. If they have a playwright who’s writing a play about New England, they’ve got someone who could be useful in that arena. I think it starts with looking more fully at the people you are engaging with."