Baldwin, Ahmed, Seavey, Lopez, Among Writers in Lark's 2007 Playwrights' Week

News   Baldwin, Ahmed, Seavey, Lopez, Among Writers in Lark's 2007 Playwrights' Week The Lark Play Development Center and the Indo-American Arts Council have announced the playwrights for Playwrights' Week 2007.

This year's eight writers were chosen from nearly 500 submissions, bringing "a diversity in subject matter ranging from an outbreak of bird flu to a soldier stuck in the Middle East to a tragic African-American entertainer."

The playwrights will spend a week-long residency (Sept. 26-Oct. 1) at the Lark in midtown Manhattan developing their work with professional actors, a director and Lark staff; they will then present that work in a public reading during the festival.

For the Lark, the Playwrights' Week "is a key program in unearthing new writers from around the world, as it stems from an open-submission policy, as well as an outreach to unique and unheard voices."

This year's selections include:

  • Nobody by Richard Aellen, "the tragedy of Bert Williams, an African-American entertainer." Timothy Douglas directs.
  • Raisins, Not Virgins by Sharbari Ahmed "traces the journey and jihad of an American-Muslim woman in New York." Shilarna Stokes directs.
  • Sand by Trista Baldwin "details a young American soldier occupying the Middle East." Daniella Topol directs.
  • She Like Girls by Chisa Hutchinson is "inspired by the 2003 murder of a lesbian teen in Newark." Candido Tirado directs.
  • Gary by Melinda Lopez concerns "three youths lost in the mundane until one violent night changes everything." Victor Maog directs.
  • Velocity by Daniel Macdonald, "in which a 15-year-old girl decides to blow her father out the 73rd floor of an office tower." Sturgis Warner directs.
  • Children at Play by Jordan Seavey is "a tragic farce about five friends struggling to make it through junior high and high school." Jackson Gay directs.
  • Day the Bird Flu Came by Jonathan Yukich, "where two health officials investigate an outbreak in a small town." Jim Aber directs. The festival kicks off Sept. 26 with a Meet the Writers reception, where the playwrights will be introduced, interviewed and will read excerpts of their work. The festival will come to a finale with a special celebration of the Lark's eighth year in partnership with IAAC on Oct. 1, where seven South Asian Lark Alumni writers will share work and the 2007 IAAC Playwright-in-Residence will be announced, concluding with a reception commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Indo-American Arts Council.

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    The Playwrights' Week selection process started in November of 2006. Hundreds of scripts were submitted through the Lark's open submission policy. Finalists were chosen through a rigorous process involving the Lark's Literary Wing, comprised of dozens of theatre artists and community members.

    To learn more about the Lark, and the schedule for Playwrights' Week, visit www.larktheatre.org.

    All events take place at The Lark Studio 939 Eighth Avenue (between 55th and 56th Streets), Second Floor.

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    The Lark Play Development Center provides American and international playwrights "with indispensable resources to develop their work," according to the not-for-profit. "The Lark nurtures artists at all stages in their careers, inviting them to freely express themselves in a supportive and rigorous environment. It is a home for an emerging artistic community committed to reshaping how we see and experience the world."

    Leading the organization are producing director John Clinton Eisner, managing director Michael Robertson, and artistic program director Daniella Topol.

    Plays developed at the Lark regularly go on to full productions at theaters across the country. This year Theresa Rebeck's Mauritius will be produced on Broadway by Manhattan Theatre Club, David Henry Hwang's Yellow Face premiered at Center Theatre Group and will be produced by the Public Theater, and Chantal Bilodeau's Pleasure and Pain was recently presented at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, as well as in translation in Mexico City.