Lark Bites Into Apple Cove, a Dark Comedy About a Gated Community, March 9-16 in NYC

News   Lark Bites Into Apple Cove, a Dark Comedy About a Gated Community, March 9-16 in NYC A couple's discovery of the dark side of suburbia is at the heart of Lynn Rosen's new play, Apple Cove, getting a test run in Manhattan as part of Lark Play Development Center's BareBones initiative, March 9-16.
Lynn Rosen
Lynn Rosen

The showcase staging is a full production with spare scenic elements, and is not open to reviewers. Performances play Lark Studio, 939 Eighth Avenue between 55th and 56th Streets.

Giovanna Sardelli directs the Apple Cove staging, featuring C.J. Wilson (The Best Man, Stop Kiss), Erica Schroeder (Jane Eyre), Paul Carlin, Erin Gann and Marguerite Stimpson.

"Apple Cove tells the story of a couple who move into a gated community to be near their family and shield themselves from the dangers of the outside world, but instead make the terrifying discovery that life within those gates, and within their own family, is far more dangerous," according to Lark notes.

The play was first developed in the Lark's Playwrights' Workshop, where Rosen was supported by Arthur Kopit and some of the Lark's playwright advisors, including Tina Howe and Theresa Rebeck. Regular meetings of eight emerging writer-fellows (and established writers like Kopit, who serve as guides) lead to the strengthening of scripts in a constructive, safe, sharing atmosphere, said Lark's managing director Daniella Topol.

The Lark Playwrights' Workshop scripts might then move on to a Lark BareBones staging, which represents 100 hours of rehearsal culminating in staged, off-book performances with spare scenic elements. Lark is not a producing organization; it develops writers and their scripts. "We want to be the step before the play goes into tech rehearsal elsewhere," Topol told Playbill.com. "We're very much about using BareBones an a launch pad for plays to go elsewhere."

Audiences are made up of passionate theatregoers as well as industry people, such as artistic directors.

In the spirit of the company's new-works development mission, audiences are invited to offer feedback and impressions after every performance. "We want it to be like a conversation between audience and writer," Topol said.

Playwright Rosen grew up in Gary, Indiana. She was nominated by Tina Howe to be a member of The Lark's 2003-04 Playwright's Workshop where she developed Apple Cove. Her dark comedy Back From The Front premiered at The New York International Fringe Festival in August 2004 and her one-act play Dust Devil was produced by the Access Theatre in June 2004. Her one-act play Washed Up On The Potomac was produced in the Ensemble Studio Theatre's 2003 Marathon of new plays and appeared with other new pieces by Tina Howe, John Guare and Leslie Ayvazian. Rosen received a 2002-03 Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation New Play Commission for her play Progress In Flying, which is a work in progress. Her play Nighthawks, produced by the Tony-nominated Willow Cabin Theatre Company in Nw York City and the Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., has been published by Samuel French.

For $15 tickets to the BareBones staging of Apple Cove, contact Theatermania.com at (212) 352-3101.

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The Lark Play Development Center "provides American and international playwrights with indispensable resources to develop their work," according to its mission statement. "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."

Plays developed at the Lark regularly go on to full productions at theatres across the country. This year Ian Cohen's play Lenny and Lou opened the season at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington D.C., Sarah Ruhl's The Clean House was featured at the Yale Rep and has a wide future ahead in regional theatres, and Daphne Greaves' Day of the Kings had its premiere at the Alliance Theatre in January 2005.

Leading the organization are producing director John Clinton Eisner and managing director Daniella Topol. To learn more about the Lark, visit www.larktheatre.org.