Lark Play Development Center Announces 20th Annual Playwrights' Week Lineup, 9/23-28

Lark Play Development Center is proud to announce that seven plays have been chosen for its 20th annual Playwrights' Week, which will take place September 23rd - 28th.

This year's plays and playwrights are Fight Call by Jessica Brickman, Deacon of the Bronxby Matt Dellapina, The Tomb of King Tot by Eric Dufault, Dreams of the Penny Gods, byCallie Kimball, Lasso of Truth by Carson Kreitzer, Guadalupe in the Guest Room byTony Meneses and Perse by August Schulenburg.

Playwrights' Week provides open access to any and all playwrights regardless of background or experience. Works were selected from over 530 submissions received through the Lark's Open Access Program and assessed by the Lark's Literary Wing, a team of 37 volunteer theater artists and community members. Each submitted play was evaluated using a multi-step process including two initial blind reviews (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 an invited committee based on Lark support criteria including strength of voice, diversity of perspective, and potential impact of the Playwrights' Week program. Lark's Literary and Artistic Coordinator Andrea Hiebler said of the selection process, "I am consistently amazed by the level of enthusiasm that fuels the Litwing selection process. The fact that members so eagerly read, discuss and champion plays that they've come to feel passionately about is heartening. These plays arrive at Playwrights' Week riding a powerful wave of advocacy and with an incredible amount of momentum already behind them."

Playwrights' Week playwrights participate in an intensive seven-day retreat, designed to foster a peer-based community among the writers, their creative teams, and Lark's staff, through a series of conversations around the work. Each new play receives ten hours of rehearsal in advance of a public staged reading, focusing on the writer's self-stated developmental goals. Now in its 20th year, Playwrights Week has supported plays from early-career, emerging and established writers. Playwrights define their own goals for what they want to accomplish, and then spend the week together with each other and their collaborators, working to achieve those goals. Each writer will have the company of six other extraordinary writers, who are there not just as a sounding board, but as a community. Playwright Philip Dawkins said of his 2011 Playwrights' Week experience,"It's a wonderful, supportive environment in which to do something risky and dangerous."

Recent work developed in Playwrights' Week include: Detroit 67 by Dominique Morisseau, produced at The Public Theater and Classical Theatre of Harlem; The Nether byJennifer Haley, winner of the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and produced at Center Theatre Group; and Failure: A Love Story by Philip Dawkins at Victory Gardens Theatre and Azuka Theater.

Playwrights' Week is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts and with public funds from The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support comes from the Axe-Houghton Foundation.

Fight Call by Jessica Brickman - A promising, young actor and a stage veteran test the boundaries of trust when one of them threatens to commit an act of real violence on stage during a performance.

Deacon of the Bronx by Matt Dellapina - On his summer break from seminary, Fab - a priest with a rage problem - is back in his old neighborhood. Hoping to get a fresh taste of real life, he soon finds all his bonds to the upper borough tearing away. Except maybe one.

The Tomb of King Tot by Eric Dufault - A mother grieving the loss of her child channels her emotions into a comic strip wherein a child-pharaoh journeys through the Egyptian afterlife.

Dreams of the Penny Gods by Callie Kimball - Born into a criminal family hiding out in a storage facility, 13-year-old Bug has transformed herself into a high priestess who raises the dead. One morning, her incantations work, setting off an acceleration of events that end in an Armageddon that launches her into the world.

Lasso of Truth by Carson Kreitzer - A play about William Marston, inventor of both the lie detector machine and Wonder Woman (yes, both...), and the women he loved, both of whom served as inspiration for the famous character.

Guadalupe in the Guest Room by Tony Meneses - After the unexpected death of her daughter, Guadalupe Castillo must learn to navigate the world around her in a language she hardly understands, as well as learn to navigate the American husband her daughter left behind.

Perse by August Schulenburg - When Melinda helps her teenage student Perse make a music video, its sudden fame sets them on a journey of unexpected intimacy and loss.


Jessica Brickman (Fight Call) has written plays including The Insomnia Play, The 12 Positions of Hysteria, Third of May, Free Fall, In Loco Parentis and The Eye in the Door. She has received readings and workshops at Lincoln Center, Rattlestick, SPACE, LABrats RAW series, and Weds at 8. Her films, The Five Stages of Grief and I Am Not a Moose premiered at Lincoln Center's New York Film Festival and were official selections at many other festivals during the 2012 season. Jess is a graduate of Yale University and Juilliard's American Playwrights Program. She is a proud member of the nonprofit Voices of Rwanda.

Matt Dellapina (Deacon of the Bronx) recently completed a residency with The Civilians' 2013 R&D Group, where his musical Barabbas was developed. Other work includes the plays No No No Yes (Ars Nova, The PIT), The Great Pretenders, Deacon Of The Bronx (Naked Angels' 1st Mondays), and the screenplay Sunday Morning (Finalist, American Zoetrope Contest) and the upcoming feature These Hopeless Savages (co-written with Sean Christopher Lewis). He is a regular contributor to Naked Radio and helped found and hosts On This Island - a New York City storytelling series with Slant Theatre Project, live at Ars Nova and up on iTunes. As an actor, Matt's recently appeared in such NYC works as The Tutors(Second Stage), Outside People (Vineyard), The Steadfast (Slant), and The Dream Of The Burning Boy (Roundabout).

Eric Dufault (The Tomb of King Tot) is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. His plays include Year of the Rooster, The Tomb of King Tot, American Girls, and The Desert Play. His plays have been performed at the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Youngblood as part of their "34th Annual Marathon of One Act Plays" and "Unfiltered" series. Additionally, his work has been performed at the Flea Theatre, the 52nd Street Project, the Magnet Theatre, and the Great Plains Theatre Conference. He is the recipient of a 2013 Sloan Commission, the 2010 Lipkin Playwriting Award, and the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Harle Adair Damann Playwriting Award. His play Something Fine will be published in the Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2014 anthology. He is a member of the Obie award-winning Youngblood Playwriting Group.

Callie Kimball (Dreams of the Penny Gods) graduated in 2012 from the first Playwriting MFA class at Hunter College, run by Tina Howe and Mark Bly. She's written for NPR,, Theatre Communications Group, & Dramatists Guild. She's received a MacDowell Fellowship, a Ludwig Vogelstein grant, and won the Rita & Burton Goldberg Playwriting Award two years in a row (sharing it with her three classmates the first time). She was an O'Neill semi-finalist, a finalist for the Clubbed Thumb Biennial Award, and a 2012-13 Core Apprentice at The Playwrights' Center. Her plays have been produced, read, or developed at Washington Shakespeare Company, Project Y Theatre, the Kennedy Center, Lunar Energy Productions, Electric Pear Productions, The Brick Theater, Emerging Artists Theatre, Core Artist Ensemble, Absolute Theatre, Capital Fringe Festival, and elsewhere. She was a teaching artist in Washington, DC to over 1,000 students through various nonprofit arts organizations, and taught Shakespeare in a juvenile detention facility.

Carson Kreitzer (Lasso of Truth) plays include The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer, SELF DEFENSE or death of some salesmen, 1:23, Flesh and the Desert, The Slow Drag (New York and London), Freakshow, Slither, Dead Wait, and Take My Breath Away, featured in BAM's 1997 Next Wave Festival. Her plays have been produced or developed by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Public Theatre, The Royal Court Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, Portland Center Stage, Perishable Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Mabou Mines, Frank Theatre, the Actors Gang, and Next Theatre, among others. She is currently working with composer Matt Gould on a musical inspired by art deco artist Tamara de Lempicka, commissioned by Yale Rep and New Dramatists, and a commission for Marin Theatre Company and the National New Play Network. Grants: NYFA, NYSCA, the NEA, TCG, the Jerome and McKnight Foundations, Loewe Award in Music-Theatre, and the first Playwrights Of New York (PONY) Fellowship at the Lark Play Development Center. BA: Yale University. MFA: Michener Center for Writers, UT Austin. Ms. Kreitzer is a founding member of The Workhaus Collective, an associated artist with Clubbed Thumb and New Georges, a member of The Playwrights' Center and the Dramatists Guild, and a New Dramatists alumni playwright. Behind the Eye, her play about surrealist muse and WWII combat photographer Lee Miller, premiered at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, directed by MarK Wing-Davey, and supported by a grant from the NEA New Play Development Program. Her collection SELF DEFENSE and other plays is now available from No Passport Press. More information at

Tony Meneses (Guadalupe in the Guest Room) is a Mexican born playwright, raised in the south/southwest, and now home in the east. His work has been presented in New York, Austin, Chicago, San Diego, Minnesota, Iowa, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Productions include The Boy in Black through Chicago Fusion Theatre and Las Hermanas Padilla through Chicago's DCA Storefront Theatre. He is the winner of the 2010 KCACTF Latino Playwriting Award. Currently he is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre's Obie-award winning writing group Youngblood. He holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and BA from The University of Texas at Austin.

August Schulenburg (Perse) has written plays including Carrin Beginning, Kidding Jane,Rue, Riding the Bull, Good Hope, Other Bodies, Honey Fist, Dark Matter, Jacob's House, DEINDE,Dream Walker, Denny and Lila, Jane the Plain and The Lesser Seductions of History. His plays have been produced and developed at the Lark Play Development Center, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Chelsea Playhouse, Theater for the New City, Portland Stage Company, Dayton Playhouse, Colonial Players, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Contemporary Stage Company, Abingdon Theater Company, Gideon Productions, New Amerikan Theatre, Penobscot Theatre, Impetuous Theater Group, Decades Out, Soundtrack Series, Reverie Productions, Wolf 359, Blue Box Productions, Piper McKenzie, Boomerang Theatre Company, Adaptive Arts, Hall High School, Nosedive Productions, MTWorks, Purple Repertory, Valley Repertory Company, The Brick Theater, CAPS LOCK Theatre, Chameleon Theatre Circle, Retro Productions, Elephant Run District, TheatreLAB and Flux Theatre Ensemble, where he is the Artistic Director. His work has also been published in the New York Theater Review, Stage and Screen, Indie Theater Now, Midway Journal, NoPassport Press and in two issues of Carrier Pigeon. He also writes for film and television with MozzleStead Productions.

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