Lark Play Development Center Announces 2014-15 Playwrights Workshop Fellows

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Lark Play Development Center Announces 2014-15 Playwrights Workshop Fellows

The Lark Play Development Center named five New York City-based playwrights as Playwrights' Workshop Fellows for the 2014-15 season. The group spans a wide range of backgrounds and professional experiences and will meet regularly throughout the year to develop new plays.


The five fellows are Lucy Thurber, author of the five-play cycle The Hill Town Plays produced Off-Broadway by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (2013) in-conjunction with Cherry Lane Theater, Axis Theatre and the New Ohio Theatre; Eric Dufault, author of Year of the Rooster, produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre (2013), and the 2014-15 PoNY Fellow at the Lark (in partnership with Playwrights of New York); Kimber Lee, author of brownsville song (b-side for tray), produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville at the Humana Festival (2014) with 2014-15 productions at LTC3, Wharf Theatre and Philadelphia Theatre Company, and different words for the same thing, produced by Center Theatre Group (2014); Mike Lew, author of Tiger Style! and Bike America, produced by Ma-Yi Theater Company (2013) and Alliance Theatre (2013); A. Zell Williams, winner of Philadelphia Theatre Company's Terrence McNally Award, Marin Theatre Company's David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, and the National New Play Network's Smith Prize for Political Theatre.

"The Playwrights' Workshop can be transformative when it brings diverse energies together," said Lloyd Suh, Lark's Director of Onsite Programs. "While each of these five extraordinary writers is so distinct in terms of their individual voices and aesthetics, they all share a common sense of rigor and commitment to their processes. I'm excited about the ways they'll feed off each other, inspire each other, and get some great work done."

The Playwrights' Workshop, now in its 16th year, is one of the Lark's longest-running programs, bringing emerging and established playwrights together to explore new material without commercial pressures. Led by esteemed dramatist and program creator Arthur Kopit and a group of leading American playwrights that include David Henry Hwang, Tina Howe, Terrence McNally, Theresa Rebeck, José Rivera, Lynn Nottage and Doug Wright among others. Fellows meet twice monthly to share new pages from plays-in-progress with a community of actors, directors, designers, writers and special guests. Fellows are selected annually by a committee that solicits nominations from leading dramatists and artistic directors. Program alumni include José Rivera (School of the Americas), Thomas Bradshaw (Burning, Mary), Samuel D. Hunter (A Bright New Boise), Katori Hall (The Mountaintop, Hurt Village), Dominique Morisseau (Detroit '67), Lisa Kron (The Verizon Play) and Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Gruesome Playground Injuries).

"The Playwrights' Workshop offers the excitement of knowing that you and your play are about to enter a room with people who are excited, committed, and invested in advance," said Chisa Hutchinson (Dead & Breathing, She Like Girls), a participant in the 2012-13 Playwrights' Workshop. "The actors, the facilitators, and your fellow writers all bring an energy that surrounds you, protects you, pulls you, prods you, props you up, gets inside you and moves the furniture around, and renovates your work."

Playwrights' Workshop is supported in part by the John Golden Fund and the Axe-Houghton Foundation.

BIOGRAPHIES OF THE PLAYWRIGHTS

Eric Dufault is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. His plays include Year of the Rooster (New York Time's Critics' Pick, 2013-2014 John Gassner Outer Critics Circle Award), The Tomb of King Tot, American Girls, and The Last Great Telemarketer. His plays have been performed at the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Youngblood as part of their "34th Annual Marathon of One Act Plays" and Mainstage series. Additionally, his work has been performed at the Flea Theatre, Marin Theatre, 52nd Street Project, Magnet Theatre, Theater for the New City, Lark Play Development Center, and Great Plains Theatre Conference. He is the recipient of the 2014 Playwrights of New York Fellowship, a 2013 Sloan Commission, the 2013 David Colicchio Emerging Playwright Award, the 2010 Lipkin Playwriting Award, and the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Harle Adair Damann Playwriting Award. His work is included in the "Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2014" and "Best New Plays of 2014" anthologies. He is a member of the Obie award-winning Youngblood Playwriting Group and the New Dramatists.

Kimber Lee's plays include fight, tokyo fish story, and brownsville song (b-side for tray), which premiered at the 2014 Humana Festival and will also receive 2014-2015 productions at LCT3, Long Wharf Theatre, and Philadelphia Theatre Company. In May 2014, Center Theatre Group presented the world premiere of her play different words for the same thing directed by Neel Keller. Her work has also been presented by Lark Play Development Center, Page 73, Hedgebrook, Seven Devils, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, TheatreWorks (Palo Alto), Magic Theatre, Great Plains Theatre Conference, and Dramatists Guild Fellows Program. Kimber is a Lark Playwrights Workshop Fellow (2014-2015), member of Ma-Yi Writers Lab, and recipient of the 2014 Ruby Prize, 2013-2014 PoNY Fellowship, and the 2014-2015 Aetna New Voices Fellowship at Hartford Stage. MFA: UT Austin.

Mike Lew's plays include Tiger Style! (O'Neill workshop; Juilliard and InterAct readings), Bike America (Ma-Yi, NYC; Alliance, Atlanta; Juilliard, Lark Play Development Center, Kennedy Center, and Playwrights Foundation workshops); microcrisis (Ma-Yi, NYC; InterAct, Philly; Next Act, Milwaukee); Stockton (AracaWorks and EST workshops); People's Park (Victory Gardens workshop); Tenure (24 Hour Plays on Broadway), In Paris You will Find Many Baguettes... (Humana); Roanoke (Humana); and Moustache Guys. Several of his short plays are published by Playscripts. He is the recipient of the Lanford Wilson Award, Helen Merrill Award, a NYFA fellowship in playwriting, the Kendeda and AracaWorks Grad Playwriting Awards, Heideman Award, and is a Sam French Festival Winner. He is part of the Dramatists Guild Council and Membership Committee, EST Members Council, and is co-director of Ma-Yi Writers Lab - the largest collective of Asian-American playwrights in the country. He is a former staff writer for Blue Man Group, Bon Appetit, and PBS Kids' PEG+CAT, and is an alumnus of Youngblood and TCG Young Leaders of Color. Training: Juilliard (2013), Yale (2003).
website: mikelew.com.

Lucy Thurber is the author of ten plays: Where We're Born, Ashville, Scarcity, Killers and Other Family, Stay, Bottom of The World, Monstrosity, Dillingham City, The Locus and The Insurgents. Her five play cycle The Hill Town Plays was produced Off-Broadway by Rattlestick Playwright's Theater in-conjunction with Cherry Lane Theater, Axis Theater and the New Ohio Theatre. The Insurgents was produced at the 2011 Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Bottom of The World and Scarcity was produced at the Atlantic Theater Company. Rattlestick Playwrights Theater has produced three of her plays, Where We're Born, Killers and Other Family and Stay. Lucy wrote the text for QUIXOTE, conceived and directed by Lear deBessonet, a site-specific performance with the Psalters made for and with The Broad Street Community, also with Lear deBessonet and produced by 13P, Monstrosity. Scarcity was published in the December 2007 issue of American Theatre. She is published by Dramatists Play Service. Thurber is an alumni of New Dramatists, a member of 13P, Labyrinth Theater Company and Rising Phoenix Rep. She has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, The Contemporary American Theatre Festival, House on The Moon, WET and Yale Rep. She is the recipient of Manhattan Theatre Club Playwriting Fellowship, the 1st Gary Bonasorte Memorial Prize for Playwriting, a proud recipient of a LILLY AWARD and a 2014 OBIE Award for The Hill Town Plays.

A. Zell Williams' passion for sparking a dialogue has won him Philadelphia Theatre Company's Terrence McNally Award, Marin Theatre Company's David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, the National New Play Network's Smith Prize for Political Theatre, New York University's Rita & Burton Goldberg Playwriting Prize, and Reverie Productions' Next Generation Playwright's Award. He has been nominated for the Williamstown Theatre Festival's L. Arnold Weissberger Award by Playwrights Horizons and is a two-time nominee for the Playwright of New York (PoNY) Fellowship. He was a finalist for the Yale Drama Series for Emerging Playwrights, Aurora Theatre's Global Age Project Award, Kitchen Dog Theatre's New Works Festival, and the Van Lier Fellowship at the Lark Play Development Center. Zell holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Santa Clara University and earned an MFA in Dramatic Writing under instructors such as Oskar Eustis, David Grimm, Charlie Rubin, and Suzan-Lori Parks. He was the 2013 National New Play Network Playwright-in-Residence at Philadelphia's InterAct Theatre Company, a member of both The Civilians' R&D Group and Ars Nova's Play Group, and currently holds the Tow Foundation's Emerging Playwright Residency at the Public Theater and is a Resident Playwright of New Dramatists.

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