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Symons’ ‘Lark Eden’ getting a staged reading for Women’s History Month

Bill DeYoung



Playwright and novelist Natalie Symons. Photo provided.

Tampa playwright Natalie Symons’ Lark Eden is headed for a staged reading Monday at the Girls Incorporated of Pinellas headquarters, 7700 61st Street in Pinellas Park.

The 7 p.m. reading is in celebration of Women’s History Month.

Symons’s most recent play, the dark comedy The People Downstairs, was produced last year by American Stage. Lark Eden, a three-way conversation between female friends, was published in 2011.

Lark Eden really speaks to the human spirit, and to the unbreakable bonds and unconditional love between women,” says the playwright. “I wrote it as a tribute to my oldest female friends – friends that I’ve had since I was a little girl.”

Symons never thought the fictionalized story of Thelma, Mary and Emily would go on to have “a life,” as she calls it. It’s been performed all over the world (most recently in Germany). “It was just an ode to my girlfriends, and it became sort of beloved by audiences.”

Although there have been fully staged productions, Symons says that Lark Eden is an “epistolary” play, written as a series of letters between the three friends over 75 years, and that it’s meant for staged readings.

Theater artist Tiffany Ford, American Stage’s former director of education, is co-producing Monday’s event. “We were all talking about how there weren’t many Women’s History Month events, specifically, that lift up women’s voices in the community,” she explains.

“This particular play is so perfect for the occasion. It really is about friendships between women throughout their lives, from little girls through old age. What a perfect, empowering piece to also work with Girls Inc. on.”

In the meantime, Symons’ first novel, 2021’s Lies in Bone, continues to rake in good reviews and decent sales.

“It’s doing very well for a book that came out of a small indie publisher,” says Symons. “I’m excited about the fact that it’s got a little bit of a cult following. I think the audiobook is what sent it over the edge, and gave it this big marketing push. Because so many people listen to audiobooks now! I’ve never listened to one in my life.”

Tickets for Monday’s staged reading are free, but reservations are requested here.




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