Last March, the Lark creative team visited Perseverance Theater in Juneau, Alaska. It was a marvelous opportunity to enjoy a reading of Marcus Gardley’s play The Road Weeps… The Well Runs Dry as part of the Land Marks Festival. In a city that has a substantial population of indigenous people, it was significant to hear the play and to discuss its implications in the panel discussion later that week. There was a genuine warm welcome for the Lark team from the audience amidst the city’s chill. We took a short sight seeing tour of the gorgeous glaciers which added to a unique experience. Our hosts were gracious and excited. The Festival ended with the panel discussion which illustrated more of the themes of place, culture and identity representing diverse thoughts as you will read in the article by Storyteller Joanne Alcantara.
In this issue, our Storytellers explore the themes of education and migration. Each Storyteller has integrated these concepts in their articles. Storyteller Shannon Gibney, from The Pillsbury House continues her exploration of relationships between American Indians and Black Americans. Her thoughts on ‘critical education’ are provocative and we invite you to comment on them on our FaceBook page. Michael Premsrirat from Latino Theater Company examines migration in its many forms – physical, emotional, and points in time. He notes that the cultural diversity of Los Angeles provides the perfect arena to present Road Weeps.
The Lark continues to grow and develop a foundation for a healthy and broad based production that has time to develop its legs, its voice and its audience. Now that we have concluded our Town Hall national tour, it is exciting to see how the geography of the country impacts the heart of the play. What has been the result of hearing it read in a variety of readings including color blind casting and listening to the surrounding dialogue as communities in Minnesota, Florida, Alaska and Los Angeles have expanded the play’s topics. Are there any conclusions? I think we are just beginning to peel back the layers of identity, race and migration. The dialogues around the country have been rich, textured and sometimes uncomfortable. But as long as we can continue to probe our relationships with each other in a deep and meaningful way amidst the backdrop of these issues, then theater has served its purpose.
As we continue to develop each venue, take note of the changes in the production schedule. The first production will now be in the spring of 2013 at Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska. In the fall of 2013, The Road Weeps… will take place at Pillsbury House and Latino Theater Company. The national tour will conclude at University of South Florida in the spring of 2014. We are also delighted to welcome a new member of the Road Weeps creative team, Nakissa Etemad who is the dramaturg for the play.
Tell us what you think about the bulletin, we welcome your comments, questions and opinions. Our next issue in July will explore the theme of ‘Education’ and you can be sure that it will be challenging and thought provoking.