Lark Awards New NYC Fellowship to Playwright Carson Kreitzer

News   Lark Awards New NYC Fellowship to Playwright Carson Kreitzer
Playwright Carson Kreitzer has won the Lark Play Development Center's first annual "Playwrights of New York" fellowship, which provides rent, money and dramaturgical mentoring for the playwright.

Kreitzer's plays include Freakshow and Dead Wait (Clubbed Thumb), Take My Breath Away (P.S. 122) and The Slow Drag (American Place Theatre), and The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer (seen in theatres across the country).

According to the Lark announcement, Kreitzer lacked "a breakthrough hit" to enable her to continue writing and working in New York City, and relocated for several years. The new Playwrights of New York fellowship, dubbed PONY, will give her a full year to live and work again "in New York's lively theatre community, specifically in the thriving, supportive environment of the Lark Play Development Center, located at 939 Eighth Ave. in New York City."

The fellowship's support is valued at $80,000. Mentoring will be provided by playwrights Tina Howe and Tony Award winner Arthur Kopit.

PONY is being called one of the largest fellowships available to playwrights in the U.S. The fellowship is underwritten, in part, by Lark playwright and board member Sandi Goff Farkas, who conceived PONY, "seeing the need for writers to have a bridge between the academic and professional arenas of playwriting," according to Lark. "Because so many playwrights leave the profession due to the harsh economics of being a writer in NYC, Ms. Farkas sought to create a way to help with the difficult transition."

Kreitzer stated, "I lived in New York for eight years, and my life in theatre was always in competition with paying my rent. This fellowship will allow me to pursue my craft in the city where it means the most, and a chance to forge relationships and alliances that will carry me through my professional life." Kreitzer said that she expects during her fellowship year at the Lark to write her newest play, Enchantment, "about the crisscrossing lives of the Freudian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Bruno Bettelheim and Temple Grandin, a high functioning autistic woman known for designs of more humane slaughterhouses." She also expects to complete her play Be Here Now, an adaptation of The Three Sisters, as well as a work-in-progress about "a pair of Chicago socialites and their obsession with dollhouses."

Over 80 playwrights each year participate in the Lark Play Development Center's programs, including Playwrights Week, its BareBone Series, International Exchange Program and Studio Retreats.

The Center was founded in 1994 "to provide American and international playwrights with indispensable resources to develop their work." 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.

The Lark Play Development Center has been "the writing home" for such playwrights as Theresa Rebeck (Mauritius), David Henry Hwang (Yellow Face) and Sarah Ruhl since it opened its doors in 1994.

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The Lark's 2007 Playwright's Week — an annual festival of new plays that will pair nine emerging playwrights with teams of actors and directors for 40 hours of intensive dramaturgical work, rehearsals and performance — will be held Sept. 26-Oct. 1 at the Lark Play Development Center.

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