Samuel D. Hunter Is Lark's 2008 Playwright Fellow

News   Samuel D. Hunter Is Lark's 2008 Playwright Fellow Lark Play Development Center announced playwright Samuel D. Hunter as the 2008-09 Playwrights of New York (PONY) Fellow, offering a stipend, a Manhattan home and an artistic family.

Carson Kreitzer was the first PONY fellow of the not-for-profit company devoted to new voices for the theatre.

Hunter's fellowship begins Oct. 1. As a PONY Fellow, Hunter will receive housing in the PONY apartment in the heart of the theatre district in midtown Manhattan for one year with a $24,000 living stipend and artistic support from the Lark as a member of the Playwrights Workshop led by Arthur Kopit.

Of her time as the 2007-08 PONY Fellow, Kreitzer stated, "To live in New York completely supported, not having to worry about overwhelming rent, with nothing to do but write — it's more than I ever dreamed possible."

Hunter recently moved back to New York for a fellowship at Juilliard after completing his MFA at the Iowa Playwrights Workshop last May. He stated, "It's been a constant struggle to make ends meet financially while finding time to write. Playwriting, the reason I came to New York, has felt like a side project, something I turn to on nights on weekends."

The PONY fellowship is underwritten, in part, by Lark playwright and board member Sandi Goff Farkas, who conceived PONY, seeing the need for a deeper investment in emerging writers. She said, "So many playwrights have to put their plays on the back burner, due to the harsh economics of being a playwright in New York. Our community needs to rally around these writers in a significant way to make sure this generation of voices is heard." Hunter said the PONY Fellowship "is completely overwhelming and humbling at the same time. It's the greatest gift an artist can receive — the chance to work unencumbered by real world responsibilities. I can't wait to see what my output will be when my main responsibility in life is to write plays."

Hunter is originally from Moscow, ID. He received his BFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in 2004, an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop in 2007, and is currently a playwright in residence at the Juilliard School. His plays include I Am Montana (2007 Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the 2007 Seven Devils Playwrights Conference), Norman Rockwell Killed My Father (2005 O'Neill Playwrights Conference), Abraham (A Shot in the Head) (Richard Foreman's Ontological-Hysteric Theater), Abraham (I Am an Island) (Studio 42's Scattered Festival at Collective: Unconscious), Pigheart (2007 Iowa New Play Festival), and his newest play, Idaho/Dead Idaho, which received its first reading at Juilliard this past spring.

He has taught at the University of Iowa, Fordham University, and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories at Ashtar Theater (Ramallah) and Ayyam al-Masrah (Hebron).

For more information on the Playwrights of New York Fellowship (PONY), visit www.playwrightsofnewyork.org. For more information about the Lark Play Development Center, visit www.larktheatre.org.

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A laboratory for new voices and new ideas, the Lark Play Development Center "provides playwrights with indispensable resources to develop their work," according to its mission. "The Lark brings together actors, directors, playwrights and the community to allow writers to learn about their own work by seeing and hearing it, and by receiving feedback from a dedicated and supportive community. The company reaches into untapped local populations and across international boundaries to seek out and embrace unheard voices and diverse perspectives, celebrating differences in language and worldviews. The Lark also plays a leading role in advancing unknown writers and their works to audiences through carefully stewarded partnerships with a host of theaters, universities, community-based organizations, and NGOs, locally, nationally and globally."

The Lark is led by producing director John Clinton Eisner and managing director Michael Robertson, and artistic program director Daniella Topol. For more information, www.larktheatre.org.

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