The Lark has named playwrights Xavier Galva and Ife Olujobi as recipients of the 2019–2020 New Voices Fellowship.
The yearlong residency is awarded to promising playwrights of color under 30. Galva and Olujobi will each receive a cash award of $15,000 plus a $3,000 Opportunity Fund for research, travel and other expenses. The Lark will also provide artistic resources and career support.
“My goal at The Lark is to develop a cycle of five plays that provoke conversations about institutional racism,” said Galva, who hails from New York City. “The plays would be centered around the themes of the criminal justice system, public health, education, banking, and housing."
Galva’s previous works have been developed by MCC Theater, Clubbed Thumb, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, among others.
“The story of black women in this country has been one of load bearing. Lately I’m more interested in what’s unleashed when that load is cast aside,” said Olujobi of Columbia, Maryland. “I think energy is like matter—when it’s not being used in an instance it doesn’t disappear, it just changes forms. In my own way, I want to document that transformation, particularly as it pertains to young black women and women of color.”
Olujobi was part of the 2018–19 Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater. Her work has been seen in New York City as City Pier A and the Abe Burrows Theater at New York University.