The Lark Play Development Center announced that seven plays-in-development have been chosen for its 19th annual Playwrights' Week, which will take place September 26-29, 2012.
This year's plays and playwrights are THIS IS WITTENBERG by Lauren Gunderson, HUNGER by Anna Moench, HALFWAY, NEBRASKA byBriandaniel Oglesby, TRANQUIL by Andrew Rosendorf, DENNY & LILA byAugust Schulenburg, #NYC by Kyle Warren and SECRET IDENTITY by Chris Weikel.
Playwrights' Week playwrights participate in an intensive seven-day retreat where they focus on self-stated developmental goals with support from their creative teams, peer writers, and Lark's staff. As part of this process, the writers are provided professional actors, a director, and ten hours of rehearsal before presenting their works-in-progress to the public in a rehearsal format. They also participate in events designed to foster a community among their peers and to introduce them to leading dramatists and other industry professionals.
Playwrights Week is supported this year by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Office of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Works were selected from over 900 submissions received through the Lark's Open Access Program, and assessed by the Lark's Literary Wing, a team of 51 volunteer theater artists and community members. Each submitted play was evaluated by Literary Wing members, and selected based on a multi-step process including an initial blind review (where scripts were read without the author's name attached); and advanced through a careful assessment of each author's goal statement about how the play would specifically benefit from the Lark's playwright-driven development process. Final selections were made by a core group of LitWing members in consultation with Lark staff, based on Lark support criteria including strength of voice, diversity of perspective, and impact of the program with respect to the author's stated developmental goals.
PLAYS AND PLAYWRIGHTS:
THIS IS WITTENBERG by Lauren Gunderson - Based on the true history of Hamlet's genesis; science and fiction converge when a Nobleman and a Prince end up as grad school roommates.
HUNGER by Anna Moench - In the sandy hills of China's Loess Plateau, a farming couple mourns the death of their only son. Their search for an illegal afterlife bride is complicated by the fact that before his death their son committed an act of horrifying violence, leaving them outcasts in their community.
HALFWAY, NEBRASKA by Briandaniel Oglesby - Sheila must drive her troubled adoptive son, Nate, to Nebraska before the sunset of the Safe Haven law which permits parents to abandon their children at hospitals to become wards of the state.
TRANQUIL by Andrew Rosendorf - An estranged brother returns home years after causing his sister to become paraplegic and is forced to confront his actions as well as his sister's budding sexuality.
DENNY AND LILA by August Schulenburg - Jabber tells us what happens to legendary con artists Denny and Lila when an Alabama con goes wrong.
#NYC by Kyle Warren - As cataclysm looms, six New Yorkers' lives intersect, leading a power-hungry aide, a struggling author and an outspoken journalist to uncover a devastating series of lies.
SECRET IDENTITY by Chris Weikel - A teenager must deal with the constant humiliation of the school bully, his changing ideas of who he is sexually and creatively, and try to balance his relationship between his real-world best friend and the increasingly intrusive fictional characters he's created to help him through the day.
For more information about the Lark Play Development Center, visit: www.larktheatre.org.
Founded in 1994, the LARK PLAY DEVELOPMENT CENTER is a laboratory for new voices and new ideas, providing playwrights and their collaborators with resources to develop their work in a supportive yet rigorous environment and encouraging artists to define their own goals and creative processes in pursuit of a unique vision. We embrace new and diverse perspectives here at home and in all corners of the world, supporting innovative strategies to help new work reach audiences through a network of evolving partnerships. We strive to reinvigorate the theater's ancient and enduring role as a public forum for discussion, debate, and community engagement, and to strengthen society's capacity to imagine its future through storytelling. The Lark is led by its co-founder and Artistic Director John Clinton Eisner and Managing Director Michael Robertson.