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PoNY Partners with A.R.T. and Labryinth and Announces New Fellow

Playwrights of New York (PoNY) and the Lark Play Development Center today announced that Dominique Morisseau will be the recipient of the 2012-13 PoNY Fellowship. This year, PoNY will also be launching PoNY 2.0- which includes new partnerships and opportunities exclusively for all new and past PoNY recipients including Rey Pamatmat (EDITH CAN SHOOT THINGS AND HIT THEM), Tommy Smith (THE WIFE), Katori Hall (THE MOUNTAINTOP), Samuel D. Hunter (A BRIGHT NEW BOISE), and Carson Kreitzer (BEHIND THE EYE).

Beginning in October 2012, as part of being a PoNY fellow, Morisseau will receive housing in the PoNY apartment in the heart of the theater district in midtown Manhattan for one year, a living stipend, and artistic support (workshops, residencies, mentorship) at the Lark including participation in the prestigious Playwrights' Workshop led by Arthur Kopit and advised by such playwrights as Tina Howe, David Henry Hwang, Theresa Rebeck, and Doug Wright. The Fellowship now includes reimbursement for health insurance for three years.

Morisseau was a Public Theater Emerging Writer and her play DETROIT ’67 which was developed in Lark’s 2011 Playwrights’ Week, will have a Public Lab production at The Public Theatre in their 2012-13 season. She was nominated for the PoNY Fellowship by Julie Crosby of Women’s Project. Said Morrisseau,“I am so honored to receive the PoNY Award and to be given this amazing support as a playwright. All we hope for as writers is to gain enough leverage to color the sky with our stories, and this award gives me the wings to be able to do so. I truly cannot wait to begin my year as a full-time playwright!"

About the Lark’s new PoNY fellow, Lark Artistic Director John Clinton Eisner remarks,
“Dominique is the kind of artist who thrives at the Lark. She is ambitious in her storytelling, rigorous in her craft, and generous as a collaborator. She is a poet for the beauty of her language as well as the scope of her vision. She is a passionate believer that the world can be made better through the shared experience of theater. The PoNY Fellowship comes at just the right time for her as she struggles financially to find the time to write, build a body of work and see her plays through to production.”

As part of PoNY 2.0, PoNY is also expanding their mission to provide even more artistic homes for Fellows and opportunities for their work to be seen in front of audiences by forming collaborations with American Repertory Theater at Harvard University (A.R.T.) and LAByrinth Theater Company in New York City. In addition, the PoNY Fellowship now includes access to The PoNY Express Fund. This new grant fund has been established to allow each PoNY Fellow the chance to pursue opportunities that would further advance his/her career. PoNY will also offer a bootcamp for PoNY Playwrights—an intensive workshop, led by financial experts, to provide Fellows with financial and career planning.

Sandi Goff Farkas, co-founder of PoNY, said "For something that started as an experiment five years ago, I've been blown away by the success our writers have been able to achieve. So far, 22 plays and 18 productions in 15 cities launched from just one apartment. We see our writers as part of a PoNY family, so we're very excited to be able to offer even deeper and more customized support for our past Fellows as they forge ahead with their careers."

The A.R.T. will offer PoNY Fellows onsite residencies, workshops and opportunities to work with actors in the A.R.T.'s graduate training program. As members of the A.R.T. community, they will also have access to the many resources of Harvard University. Labyrinth will offer Fellows a place in their artistic community with the opportunity to participate in their Summer Intensive and ongoing play development program. Both A.R.T. and Labyrinth will give consideration to scripts by PoNY Fellows for main stage productions.

American Repertory Theater Artistic Director Diane Paulus said "I am thrilled that the A.R.T. and PoNY are forging this partnership. This collaboration with PoNY represents a new opportunity to cultivate the next voices of the American theater which has been one of my goals as Artistic Director of the A.R.T.”

Labyrinth Co-Artistic Director Mimi O’Donnell said “Labyrinth has always been about supporting new writers and developing new plays, so we are very excited to be partnering with PoNY and to be welcoming their fantastic fellows into our community.

Founded in 2007 by Sandi Goff Farkas and the Lark Play Development Center, the unprecedented PoNY Fellowship revolutionized how a new generation of playwrights was supported by shifting emphasis to the life of the artist, and helped catapult a shift in the theater industry by encouraging other major donor and theater organizations to deepen their support to emerging playwrights. The Fellowship continues to be the only of its kind, offering a full range of personal and professional benefits and the mission of launching playwrights into sustainable careers.

The PoNY Fellowship is one of four life-sustaining fellowships at the Lark including the JEROME NEW YORK FELLOWSHIP which helps an emerging playwright with a distinctive voice to build a body of work; the LAUNCHING NEW PLAYS INTO THE REPERTOIRE (“LNP”) FELLOWSHIP which brings national recognition to a rising playwright by securing four or more productions of a play by that writer; and the MID-CAREER FELLOWSHIP which gives an experienced playwright the chance to set aside teaching and other jobs to explore fresh ideas and renew artistic purpose.

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