The Lark Play Development Center Opens Tonight
The Lark today announced the grand opening of the Lark Play Development Center, located at 311 West 43rd Street.
To celebrate the addition of this new artistic center to the theater district, a Grand Opening event, organized by award-winning producer Bruce Cohen (American Beauty, Milk), will take place tonight beginning at 7:00 p.m. The evening will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony and presentations by New York City Officials, including a proclamation of “Playwrights’ Day in New York City.” There will also be presentations of 3-minute plays, written specifically for the occasion by Lark-affiliated playwrights, including Marcus Gardley (award-winning writer of The Levee and Every Tongue Confess), Tina Howe (Painting Churches, Coastal Disturbances), Samuel D. Hunter (A Bright New Boise), David Henry Hwang (Chinglish, M Butterfly, Golden Child), Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), Arthur Kopit (Nine, Wings), Theresa Rebeck (Seminar, NBC-TV’s “Smash”), Chisa Hutchinson (She Like Girls) and Andrea Thome; as well as a musical by Doug Cohen and Zoe Samuels. An interactive live-stream of the event, produced by VirtualOvationTV, can be seen that evening at www.larktheatre.org.
The Lark has provided playwrights with indispensable resources to develop their work since 1994. Striving to reinvigorate the theater's ancient and enduring role as a public forum for discussion, debate and community engagement, the Lark reaches into untapped local populations and across international and cultural boundaries, seeking out unheard voices with diverse perspectives. The Lark Play Development Center is a place for such new voices and ideas, where American and international playwrights are empowered to develop groundbreaking new works of theater. The Lark gives writers at all stages in their careers free access to a working theatrical lab with essential resources such as actors, directors, mentors, performance space, and critical feedback. As each new work develops, the Lark works to secure future development and productions through its network of educational institutions and producing theaters. Within this supportive and rigorous environment of free expression, plays and ideas that might otherwise have remained unheard find their way to the stage. Four Lark-developed plays have had Broadway productions in the past year: Rajiv Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, and Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar.
The Grand Opening of the 9,300 square-foot Lark Play Development Center marks the first time in its 18-year history that the Lark will have a long-term lease on a space that has been customized for the company’s unique purpose. Designed by architect Stephen Furnstahl (NELSON), based on the input of Lark-affiliated playwrights, actors and directors, the center includes a fully-equipped and flexible studio, designed to act like an erector set where artists can rearrange the room, creating a number of configurations for both rehearsals and performances; a second smaller rehearsal and reading space, a writing room that gives writers a quite space to work; as well as a community gathering space.
“This new space is both a tool box and a toy box for artists. We have created an interactive space for playwrights to work, and just as important, for the community to use,” say Mr. Eisner. “Our move to this high-functioning facility reasserts our commitment to the ideals of free expression – the respect, trust and enjoyment of the creative process – and we’ve planned a very special opening event, featuring the work of some amazing artists. And thanks to VirtualOvationTV, I’m very pleased that it will be shared with the communities we have developed nationally and internationally.”