Hall Awarded PONY Fellowship; McCraney Receives Special Jury Award

News   Hall Awarded PONY Fellowship; McCraney Receives Special Jury Award
The Lark Play Development Center has announced that playwright Katori Hall is the 2009-10 recipient of the Playwrights of New York (PONY) Fellow, a prize worth an estimated $80,000.

Hall will succeed Samuel D. Hunter in fall 2009. A special PONY Jury Award was also given to playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney.

Hall will receive housing in the PONY apartment in midtown Manhattan for one year, a $24,000 living stipend and artistic support from the Lark as a member of the Playwrights Workshop, which is led by Arthur Kopit.

In a statement Hall, who is currently at Juilliard and the playwright-in-residence at Women's Project, said, "We playwrights have always struggled with the economics of our profession; however, these current times — when theatres are slashing budgets like crazy and commissions are hard to come by — are scary for everyone who works in the theatre. To be given the opportunity to be supported not only financially but artistically during these dire times is beyond a blessing — it's a watershed moment in my career."

The fellowship is underwritten, in part, by Lark playwright and board member Sandi Goff Farkas, who conceived PONY. Farkas said, "Writing plays and financial security have become so mutually exclusive for this generation of playwrights — they spend so much time having to support themselves in jobs outside of theater, they have no time to dedicate to writing deep, complex plays. It's critical that our community rally around these writers and support them as wholly as possible to ensure the future of good theatre."

The Lark Play Development Center will also present a BareBones production of Hall's The Mountaintop directed by Kamilah Forbes. The workshop production will be presented at the Lark Studio April 29-May 2; tickets are $10 presale ($15 at the door) and may be purchased through www.larktheatre.org or (866) 811-4111. For more information about the Lark Play Development Center, visit www.larktheatre.org.

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