The Lark Announces A BareBones Workshop of THE WAY WEST, 11/2-11

The Lark Announces A BareBones Workshop of THE WAY WEST, 11/2-11

From the Lark Play Development Center's BareBones® workshop program that supported Katori Hall's THE MOUNTAINTOP, Rajiv Joseph's BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO, and Kristoffer Diaz's WELCOME TO ARROYOS, the Lark announces a BareBones® workshop of THE WAY WEST by Mona Mansour, directed by Linsay Firman. The workshop runs at Lark's BareBones® Studio from November 2 – 11 at 311 West 43rd Street in New York City. Tickets are $10, $12, and $15 and are available at

THE WAY WEST tells the story of a modern-day, falling-apart California town, where Mom shares with her two squabbling daughters death-defying tales of pioneer crossings as she waits for her bankruptcy to come through. Stories are stretched, songs are broken into, and checks are forged as Mom and her grown girls scrape for survival.

About the play, Mansour says, "I've been writing about the Middle East, where my father is from. In this play I'm sort of outing myself as a Californian. It's about people I know, people I used to know, the economy, and my mother. And it's infused with prairie songs and myths." Lark Artistic Director John Clinton Eisner says this of the playwright, "Mona taps into an uncomfortable place in the American psyche, chipping away at certain myths we've invented to justify our actions and purpose. Her work is original and often outrageously funny, satirical yet honest and human like Chekhov. She cuts close to the bone, which is why theatrical producers are both wary of and fascinated by her work and why the Lark has provided her this platform to explore and share with a brilliant group of collaborators."

Lark's BareBones® workshops are simply staged, off-book public presentations of plays in the later stages of development, designed to provide writers with the opportunity to work in a way that suggests a production environment. Each BareBones® workshop includes three weeks of rehearsal in advance of eight public presentations. Often, rehearsals will continue between performances to support rewrites and a continuing process of discovery.

Founded in 1994, the LARK PLAY DEVELOPMENT CENTER is a laboratory for new voices and new ideas, providing playwrights and their collaborators with resources to develop their work in a supportive yet rigorous environment and encouraging artists to define their own goals and creative processes 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. The Lark is led by its co-founder and Artistic Director John Clinton Eisner and Managing Director Michael Robertson.

Mona Mansour - Her play The Hour of Feeling (directed by MarK Wing-Davey) just received its world premiere in the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Following that, it was part of the High Tide Festival in the U.K. as part of the Rifle Hall plays. Urge for Going (directed by Hal Brooks) received a LAB production in the 2011 season at The Public Theater, and before that was read in New Work Now at The Public Theater, and developed at Ojai Playwrights Conference. Mona was a member of The Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group, a Playwright Fellow at the Lark and is currently a Core Writer at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. Other plays include Across the Water, Girl Scouts of America and Broadcast Yourself (part of Headlong Theater's Decade, which premiered in London). Her work has been developed at the Cape Cod Theater Project, Williamstown Theater Festival, New York Stage and Film, and Lincoln Center Directors' Lab. Television credits include "Dead Like Me" and "Queens Supreme." Newest works include The Letter, a play co-written with Tala Manassah that premieres in November 2012 at Golden Thread's ReOrient Festival. Honorable mention, 2010 Middle East America Playwright Award; Whiting Award, 2012.

Linsay Firman - She is the Literary Manager at Ensemble Studio Theatre and Associate Director of the EST/Sloan Project. At EST she directed Anna Ziegler's Photograph 51 and Marathon productions of Rachel Bond's Anniversary, Garrett M. Brown's Americana and José Rivera's Flowers. Other productions include: Pierre Diennet's Perdita (Lion Theater), Joy Tomasko's Unfold Me, Catherine Trieschmann's Crooked, Heather Lynn MacDonald's Pink (all at Ariel Tepper's SPF) and Anne Washburn's Apparition (chashama). Associated Artist of New Georges, alumna of the 2008-2010 Women's Project Director's Lab, a 2003/2004 Resident Director at New Dramatists, a Director/Dramaturg in The Lark's 2007/2008 Meeting of the Minds writer's group and founder/chair of the Soho Rep Wirter/Director lab from 1998-2004. Upcoming: Lucas Hnath's Isaac's Eye at Ensemble Studio Theatre.

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