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What We're Reading: November 2019

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!

Other, Please Specify: a TEDx Talk by Nikki Stevens

"This is a different question. This question sends a different message about who we are as question askers, and the amount of respect we have for you, the question taker."

Nikki Stevens, a software engineer, discusses the creation of Open Demographics, a group created to improve the way survey demographic questions are asked.

What Our New Plays Really Look Like by Marshall Botvinik

"As theatre artists, we are all storytellers, and these numbers tell an important story. They are one additional way of measuring what our audiences are and aren’t seeing. To that end, this data can be useful for theatres as they wrestle with the most important programming question of all: Why this play now?"

A study of the demographic and thematic breakdowns of the playwrights, casts, and content of world premieres at LORT and NNPN theaters in the 2019-20 season.

Is There a Black Acting Method? A Symposium Makes the Case by Maisha S. Akbar

"Most of the Studio team trained in the Hendricks method, which is principally based in devising original work to mirror students’ own excellence back onto them. Since Black people’s lineage always already involves deeply felt emotion and epic experience, the Hendricks method focuses on empowering students without scripts, keeping the work alive in the performers’ bodies and minds."

Recounting the activities of the 2019 Black Acting Methods Studio Symposium, an outgrowth of Sharrell D. Luckett and Tia M. Shaffer’s book Black Acting Methods: Critical Approaches.

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

"The very impossibility of your reading this is all that makes my writing it possible."   

The book is a letter from "Little Dog" to his mother who doesn't know how to read English. The MacArthur Fellow's debuting novel explores the intricacies of queer sexuality, traumas and wounds in the refugee community, and also how to find healing from telling one's own story.