Lark Theatre premieres two new South Asian plays

The Lark Play Development Center kicks off its season with the 13th Annual Playwrights’ Week Festival, featuring play readings, parties, and more. Playwrights' Week is currently the only festival of its kind in New York City, focusing exclusively on developing new voices for the theatre through specifically targeted outreach efforts, growth opportunities for playwrights and theatre artists, and organized forums for community discussion. The Festival gets underway with a reception on September 13th for the eight playwrights who will be in residence during the week.  The readings are free and open to the public. 

The Lark continues its commitment to usher global and cultural perspectives into mainstream theater.  This year's slate includes two plays from the Middle Eastern Diaspora dealing with the post-9/11 experience:  HAND, FOOT, ARM, FACE by Mat Smart, about an American who runs away with her Iraqi boyfriend; and LAYLA AND MAJNUN by Nastaran Ahmadi, about an Iranian-American woman who connects to her heritage through an unusual visitor.

The Festival also presents two plays from the South Asian Diaspora: LOVE PERSON by Aditi Brennan Kapil, developed in the Many Voices Residency at the Playwrights’ Center, Minneapolis, featuring characters who communicate through American Sign Language, Sanskrit, and English; and VAIDEHI, which depicts the societal expectations on a modern woman, by journalist Gautam Raja from Bangalore, India.  Also featured is NEIGHBOURHOOD UPSIDE DOWN, a comedic satire from Croatia by Nina Mitrovic.

Other plays included are THE BRIDEGROOM OF BLOWING ROCK by Catherine Trieschmann, a Civil War era romance which won the prestigious Weissberger Award; DANCE OF THE HOLY GHOSTS: A PLAY ON MEMORY by Marcus Gardley, a poetic drama about an African-American family, previously produced at Yale Repertory Theatre; and WILD MEN OF THE WOODS, a story of New York City strangers, by Elisabeth Karlin, former artistic director of The American Renaissance Theater Company.

Hundreds of scripts are submitted each year through the Lark's open submission policy. Finalists are chosen through a rigorous process involving the Lark’s Literary Wing, comprised of dozens of theatre artists and community members.  The final eight plays were selected by a group of esteemed industry professionals including Kamilah Forbes (Hip-Hop Theatre Festival), Colin Greer (playwright; President, New World Foundation), Morgan Jenness (agent, Abrams Artists), Rajiv Joseph (playwright), Rob Urbinati (New Works Director, Queens Theatre in the Park), and John Eisner (Lark Producing Director). 

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Copyright 2006, Roger W. Tang

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