For the past three years, The Indo American Arts Council has partnered with the Lark Play Development Center and with several theatres in the New York South Asian Diaspora Community to produce an annual South Asian Diaspora Playwrights Festival each November. The results of this collaboration have been a remarkable increase in the awareness of South Asian Diaspora playwrights and an influx of fine scripts by these playwrights.
The Lark has developed several of these scripts, including SEX IN OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES by Sonia Pabley and MERCHANT ON VENICE by Shishir Kurup for presentation in its BareBones® series in April and September of 2004 respectively. Another piece from a prior festival, David Friedman’s A FIRST CLASS MAN had a week long Studio Retreat at The Lark this spring.
We recognize the extraordinary vitality of the South Asian Diaspora playwriting community and want to continue nurturing its growth. To do this we have decided to further our connection with the Lark Play Development Center. It is time to broaden and deepen the connections between the South Asian Diaspora theatre artists we have been working with every November since 2000, and other diverse American thespians.
The Lark has for many years presented an annual festival of new scripts known as “Playwrights’ Week.” In the 2004-2005 season, this festival will take place in mid June. Instead of presenting a South Asian Diaspora Playwrights Festival this year, in November 2004, there will be 10 plays selected for Playwrights’ Week 2005, 2-3 of which will be from the South Asian Diaspora. The South Asian Diaspora Playwrights’ Festival and The Lark Playwrights’ Week will be combined, preserving the same number of places for South Asian work in this transitional year and simultaneously giving our Playwrights an opportunity to participate in a broader based Playwrights group.
We are seeking full-length plays, written in English. These plays will be reviewed by both The Lark’s literary wing and the IAAC in conjunction with previous participating artistic leaders from the South Asian Diaspora theatres. Selection criteria are excellence, diversity and suitability to live performance. Plays may be written by playwrights in the South Asian Diaspora or about issues or themes related to the South Asian Diaspora experience. To be considered, each playwright must submit, along with a copy of his/her play, a brief personal statement about why writing the play is important to him/her and her/his proposed writing goals for the development time afforded by the festival.
Selected playwrights will be invited to the Playwrights’ Week to develop their work and to exchange ideas and information with other theatre artists. Each Playwright will be provided with a creative team composed of a director, actors and dramaturgical support. Each author will receive ten hours of rehearsals, one public reading and an opportunity to debrief on the process at the end of the week. Playwrights will be required to attend all rehearsals of their own plays as well as all festival events. Playwrights are responsible for their own travel costs, living expenses and housing arrangements in New York City.
The extended deadline for script submissions is January, 14th 2004. Applicants will be notified about selections by May 10, 2005. Please mail scripts to the following address: The Lark Theatre Company, 939 Eighth Avenue, Suite 301, New York, NY 10019, Attn: South Asian Diaspora Playwrights’ Initiative, Phone: (212) 246-2676. Email:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions for Playwrights’ Week require a $20 fee from the playwright.
The IAAC is passionately dedicated to promoting and building an awareness of Indian theatre and artists in North America. The Lark supports the discovery and development of emerging theatre voices in America and from around the world. Both organizations believe that merging the South Asian Diaspora Playwrights’ Festival with Lark’s Playwrights’ Week is the next natural step in making the work of a greater number of South Asian Diaspora works available to the theatrical mainstream.
For further information about this and previous Playwrights Festivals, please see