All posts by nikki skies

Playwright/Poet/Actor/Author/Educator

She So Sentimental

Do you have that post you want to share with others? What about that new poem? Have a sentimental story to share about a woman in your family? You?… Consider submitting to She Chronicles 2021. The link is listed above.

Hey Professors, come out of your comfort zones

This new trek back in school has been quite a ride. I have had to re-visit plays that I haven’t read in years and finally buckle down and read plays that I should’ve read as a theatre-goer years ago. This past semester, the plays that stood out were Antigone, King Lear, Oedipus, Lysistrata, The Blind Man and the Monkey, Othello and The Birds. There were over 20 plays read so I know I am missing out on some that I really enjoyed but those have stuck around in my brain for some reason. This was a theatre history class so it encompassed stage settings, background information and costuming considerations as well. Reading the plays and discussing, within a constructed outline, would be idea for reading such an array of plays. The challenge for me came with having to assimilate these into weekly writings and discussions demonstrating a personal understanding. So here’s the thing…

I posted my picture because I am black. I am a black woman living through a pandemic and watching people that look like me get murdered on national television. And then I had to play make believe with these plays and immerse them in conversations in my life…? So I am attending my first PWI and I am the ONLY black woman in the class, excuse me, the only black PERSON period. I remember this became an issue for me the week of Breonna Taylor’s murderers indictment. They began discussing King Lear as if nothing had happened. There was still a dance in their eyes and lightness in their smiles. I remember looking at their faces on the zoom call and it looked as if not one of them had been affected. I brought it up during my segment of the discussion and their silence was blaringly loud. The younger me would’ve felt sorry they had to connect with “that” conversation but I dismissed their wandering, uncomfortable eyes and actually hoped they sat in those emotions even if just for a few seconds.

The above mentioned plays would be great in a contemporary setting with a diverse cast and even all black. I would especially love to see this done with Antigone and Lysistrata. With the current theatre platforms, including #WeSeeYou and a push for anti-racist curriculums and theatre programming, these adaptations would be more accessible than when I went through my BA program yeeeeaaaarrrrs ago.

For this coming semester I reviewed the syllabus ahead of time so I am getting ahead of the readings/reviews for: The Cherry Orchard, Waiting for Godot, Death of a Salesman, Fences, Streetcar Named Desire, Dutchman and some other classics. I am in this program to remind them that there are black theatre classics as well from Angelina Grimke, Douglass Turner Ward, James Baldwin, Adrienne Kennedy, George C. Wolfe and others. Personal research and what one chooses to focus on is one thing but when it comes to teaching core classes to budding theatre practitioners Professors have the responsibility to come out of their comfort zones and present a TRUE representation of the theatre world.

What They Think They Know — Poetic Monologues

Image by Thiago Moura Januario Don’t you worry ’boutwhat I ain’t gotwhat you think you haveversus what you think I don’twon’t stopme from feeling fabulousor me from feeling happinessor others responding to mewith love from them being amorousSo my lifestyle isn’t glamorousand my neighborhood is hazardousspewing forth your judgmentsupon my character is so slanderousbut answer […]

What They Think They Know — Poetic Monologues

anticipating the journey

I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to blend my passion for theatre and black women’s studies into my personalized scholarship. I have been thinking about this relationship for years… as a matter of fact, I had been doing this for years. I had been reading and applying the works of Toni Morrison, June Jordan and Alice Walker to my samples of how black women authors should perform as professional writers and how their works, when centering Black Women, may affect the audiences that read them. I created She Chronicles in response to this interest.

As I continue to journey along with being an artist and activist for a more balanced literary representation of Black Women, so does my engagement with the public. Please take a visit to my new patreon page https://www.patreon.com/SheChronicles.

And don’t forget to get your submissions ready for She Chronicles 2021! https://nikkiskies.wordpress.com/submissions-for-she-chronicles-2016/

WHY ALL WE NEED IS AN ARMY OF PSYCHED UP AFROFEMINIST MINDS LIKE OLOLADE FANIYI — Reality Alley

“It’s 2020, and men should not be arguing about the significance of feminism anymore. I would usually tell undecided or anti-feminist men to read a book.” A hilarious but most appropriate response it was when I asked Lolade what other means were there to educate men who were yet to embrace the ideals of feminism. […]

WHY ALL WE NEED IS AN ARMY OF PSYCHED UP AFROFEMINIST MINDS LIKE OLOLADE FANIYI — Reality Alley

Awareness

“Stories centered around Black Women occupy an oppressive gaze that silences her voice. In these stories, the performance of her voice is used to the benefit of the protagonist and written in an “othered” form that is separate from her body. With the structure of the story being centered around Black Women, the writer is positioned to inform the audience how her body should or may perform to drive the plot and assist in completing the story. This storytelling style objectifies Black Women’s lives and presents her as a spectacle in constant response to her circumstances. She Chronicles focuses on Black Women centered stories that explore her livelihood from a holistic perspective.” – Nikki Skies