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Lark Theatre Company Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Theater

Mission: The LARK PLAY DEVELOPMENT CENTER provides transformative support for playwrights. Founded in 1994, this laboratory for new voices and new ideas provides playwrights and their collaborators with resources to develop their work in a supportive yet rigorous environment and encourages them to define their own goals and creative process 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.

Results: Last year, 205,818 people saw 45 Lark-developed plays at 84 theaters around the world

Target demographics: provide transformative support for playwrights and their collaborators

Direct beneficiaries per year: 841 artists including 170 playwrights, 103 directors and over 700 actors. We partnered with 41 companies. 2,917 audience members attended 40 Lark public events. 40 Literary Wing members read 948 scripts.

Geographic areas served: New York City and globally

Programs: playwright-led process based support through roundtable readings, fellowships and residencies, no-fee open submissions for public readings in Playwrights' Week, workshops, studio retreats, international exchanges, translation exchange programs, hotINK festival and BareBones® productions.

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Dominic4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My time at the Lark was a wonderful gift that I cherished deeply and the memories of which I often reflect on with great joy. Lloyd, Andrea, and everyone else on the staff offered me unparalleled support and assistance of all kinds, be it logistical, psychological, creative, you name it. The staff’s warmth of spirit and true, unyielding belief in fostering artistic work and developing new plays made my experience at Playwrights’ Week a professional and personal highlight. It is rare, too rare, to find a group of people as selflessly committed to the growth of art and artists, so willing to devote themselves to a work and to its creator; the ability to develop my play The Lucky Ladies (someday you will be loved) in such an environment aided greatly in its continued growth. There is a spirit of fun and of delight at the Lark, a delight that is often sadly lacking in our industry; working on my play in such an environment, I felt part of a theatrical community in a way that I hadn’t in a very long time. My fellow playwrights were wonderful partners-in-crime over the course of the week, as well, and their friendship was a wonderful added benefit to the experience of Playwrights’ Week. In the end, I think what makes the Lark so wonderful is its emphasis on the people behind the play, all of the people that are responsible for creating the work, be they playwrights, directors, actors, or administrators. The Lark places an emphasis on the necessity and value of process and on the profound joy that is, that should be, at the root of making theatre, of creating imaginary worlds and sharing them with an audience ready to take a trip with you, to make believe, hell, just to believe, period. The Lark is a place where magic can take place, where ideas grow and evolve, where people can come together with a common purpose, a shared pursuit. What could be better than that?

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Lark is one of the best resources for theater artists in NYC. Not only do they provide empowering opportunities for writers from all walks of life but their events are fun, inspiring and free! Whenever I need a little artistic pick-me-up I see what going at Lark. Its always good to hear a new play read and meet a member of their passionate staff or talented artist community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Lark is an essential part of my life in New York City as a director of new plays. I've been so fortunate to be introduced to and work with so many talented playwrights, and maintain working relationships with them, through The Lark. As if that weren't enough, the entire staff are just about the biggest-hearted, smartest and funniest humans living.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had wonderful experiences at The Lark! It has given me a platform to seek out new playwrights working on new plays that I'm passionate about and an opportunity to meet with them and collaborate on new work! The Lark is a fantastic organization that helps young artists reach their full potential and meet with other supportive artists. I am grateful, as a theater professional, to have the Lark as a place to nurture young playwrights.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Lark Play Development Center is an amazing creative home and playground, cultivating some of the finest human beings and artists I have had the privilege to work with. They provide clean beautiful studios, coffee, snacks (even figs occasionally!), the finest mentors, dramaturgs, directors, actors and facilitators around, paper, pens, highlighters--seemingly bottomless resources. John Eisner, Michael Robertson and their entire team always foster an atmosphere full of joy, fearlessness, and nurturing yet firm love and support in dogged pursuit of deeply complicated, funny, poignant human truths. I am forever grateful to be a part of such a wonderful community dedicated to sharing stories that connect us all.

Johnny8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Lark is the heart of play development in NYC. I've worked as an actor in workshops of several plays there and the amount of genius the Lark is able to lift out of all artists fortunate enough to spend time there makes it essential for the world of theatre. Plays, for me, are at their best when it's truth--it's very core, is allowed illumination and it requires an environment where the playwright is nurtured, encouraged, challenged. That is the role of the Lark Theatre Company.

Francis J.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have workshopped and performed plays with theatre companies all over the country. The Lark offers the most productive support for new play development I have yet experienced. The Lark offers an artistic home, encouraging creative courage and experimentation. Their artists are diverse, and their programs offer several short and long-term ways to support new projects. The Lark is a national treasure.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I don’t know what I’d do without the Lark!
Over the years, the Lark has given me the time and space I’ve need to work with writer’s developing their plays.
Many of those plays have gone on to productions both in New York and across the country.
I treasure the connections I’ve made through the Lark and the community of artists I know consider part of my theatrical family.
The Lark is passion, respect and community. A place I consider home.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My time at the Lark has been such a gift, and being part of the Playwrights’ Workshop this year has already had a significant impact on my writing. For me, that Workshop room offers both a simultaneous sense of absolute freedom and a rigorous testing of material, which combine to create a rare and intensely productive atmosphere. To be encouraged and held to high standards – without any particular agenda behind that support – is fairly unusual, and for me, essential in order to build a healthy developmental momentum in the writing of plays. The Lark environment has had a galvanizing and inspiring effect on me, which goes very deep, to a specific sense of not only being supported so beautifully, but being seen, being visible in a way I have not experienced before. It has been transformational.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

There are so few places now that support new plays and playwrights and I think what the Lark does is important. It fosters and supports new work in a theatre climate that too often settles for relying on the familiar to bring in money. I have attended a number of readings and know playwrights that have worked with this organization and they are providing rare and strong support of good, relevant new plays.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am writing in support of the Lark Play Development Center as a diverse resource for playwrights in the development of their career, craft, and plays. This past year, I was fortunate enough to be involved with the Lark’s development processes in several ways; The Monthly Meeting of the Minds, Roundtable, and the Winter Writers’ Retreat programs provide crucial opportunities for playwrights to not only move forward with their plays by leaps and bounds, but to do so with the encouraging support of fellow artists; which is especially important with work that is still raw and being discovered. The Lark has found a unique way of providing both continued artistic support for playwrights and connecting them to other theater artists at the same time. For every play that Lark has been a part of helping me develop this year, there are five or six connections I’ve made that will benefit my career. The Lark has become a place where both works-in-progress and relationships-in-progress meet. What has impressed me over the years is how the Lark’s programming continues to deepen and grow; as well the benefits for their community of playwrights continues to widen; each of their programs provides a very specific tool helpful to playwrights at various points in their process in writing, as well in their career.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being part of the 2013 New York Stage & Film Vassar Retreat was a gift, and a major highlight of my year. I was able to spend a week with brilliant writers, directors, actors, facilitators, thinkers—people who not only care about plays, but who radiated a genuine warmth for one another—and in a physically beautiful place, at a refreshing (and reframing) distance from my everyday routine.

The environment the Lark created was ideal. Every day we had the opportunity to share new pages, and the comments in the room were thoughtful, specific, generous, and respectful of each writer’s process. And while I found the atmosphere to be welcoming and nurturing, I also found it stimulating and challenging. I had not only the time and space to write, but a more focused attention, and many elements of the play I was working on materialized. The retreat allowed us to renew and strengthen our commitment to ourselves as writers.

The Lark retreat had a tremendous impact on me. It gave me the opportunity to begin a new play. It let me meet amazing fellow-humans/artists, and hear new writing that moved, delighted, troubled, and disarmed me. But in addition to the writing itself, the retreat shifted something for me on a deeper level: it gave me a stronger sense of myself as a writer, and a stronger sense of being part of a larger community.

Each of these experiences of the retreat—the concrete, writerly aspects as well as the intangibles—has contributed to my development as a playwright in the year since, and continue to support and inspire me moving forward. I am deeply grateful to the Lark for welcoming me (and all of us) into their family, and for creating such wonderful, and nourishing, spaces for writers.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Lark Play Development recently provided me with an unforgettable Project Residency. It was an interesting process for me from the beginning. I'm used to theaters providing workshop space to either fulfill a grant requirement or to measure the production potential of a project. In other words, there's either no sense of nurture or it's very stressful. So it took me a Minute to realize that the Lark's Project Residency had built-in stresslessness and a judgment-free zone, and I could just relax and write.

Lloyd Suh and his cohorts laid down the rules, asked a few questions about creative expectations, and then let me and my team go to work. I must say, the 29 hours of workshop was probably THE most valuable experience I ever had on a new play. On one hand, the time and space to develop are precious and rare. That's a given. More important, I didn't realize the significance of a workshop environment that didn't default into a actor-driven process or a director-centric exploration. It was the playwright's process and no one else's. Lloyd Suh and the Lark team kept reminding me that I was captain of the ship.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Lark is an incredible organization! I was lucky enough to get to work for them as an intern, and I was able to experience so much. You won't find a more passionate staff, they are completely devoted to their mission of supporting new playwrights and promoting work that contributes to the progression of theater. They work with playwrights from around the world to help share differing ideas and perspectives, and they helped countless playwrights develop their plays and receive productions. Not to mention they offer all of their events completely free of an admission charge. I wish more in the theater world would follow their example!

Denise98

Donor

Rating: 5

The Lark is a wonderful vehicle for new works. The Lark supports many new and talented playwrights. Highly collaborative, energetic and vibrant environment. I enjoy sitting in on reading whenever I can.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

If you want to experience the cutting edge of theatre, there's no greater place in NYC to go than the Lark Theatre Development Co. I've attended several readings there, and whether it's a big-name playwright or someone whom the theatre world-at-large hasn't heard of yet (but certainly ought to), I've enjoyed the quality and innovation behind the works I've seen. The Lark cares about fostering the growth of plays that aren't your average "kitchen-sink drama." They have an uncanny ability to choose original works that come out of left-field, relevant to the issues we face in society today while remaining untraditional in their execution. I love how they connect playwrights with us, the audience. At the Playwright's Panel event for Playwright's Week, in addition to complementary snacks and champagne, I was able to converse with several playwrights after the event, sharing their perspectives on the theatre while able to further discuss their creative process. Where else can you do this with playwrights? It was so open an environment, so communal. I will be returning for many more events there.