Category Archives: playwrights

Add To Your List of New Years Resolutions

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An Analytical Critique

Please enjoy the analytical critique from a student playwright on my play, Hope’s Return.

Hope’s Return is very relevant to the society we live in today. This play discusses several “back seated” issues faced by a different generation today such as: mental disease, funding higher education, realities of war and our government, depression and even suicide that threatens our younger generation. Although fictional characters were used to create this play, the topics heavily relate to the reality of society in the 21st century.

The characters face harsh realities but eventually trail by the end. Hope, the lead character, is similar to many people in my generation. They try to survive in the work force by different means. Many times we are not prepared mentally for the harshness of how inside management works. This is particularly true for women who find themselves lost in male dominated fields. Vergie represents many mother figures who hope the best for their children. However, being pre occupied with tending to other’s needs can leave your own home in shambles. Sometimes your ears are so deaf and eyes so blind you cannot sense the disarray. El is an excellent example of a true provider and backbone for his family during economically hard times. He may not have been the most tender when it came to Lewis’, his son, poor behavior, but particularly gentle yet stern as his role of father and husband. Lastly, Lewis can fit the description of most young adults who’ve lost their way. Most are always ambitious but not able to get a foot planted in the ground to be successful without their parent’s aid. It seems as if Lewis is always judged by his family based on his past failures instead of his current attempts of success.

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Back to my roots, Theatre

I am still floating on a cloud where dreams come true…

My art interest started in theatre, as an actress, back in elementary school.  That interest eventually led to writing, in several genres, and performance in poetry or oral tradition of interpretation.  I wrote, produced and directed a one act play in Los Angeles a few years back and I did the same for a one woman show in which I portrayed, Afeni Shakur, the ex-black panther and mother to the late Tupac Shakur.  Anyone can be a playwright by simply writing a play.  My goal had always been to be contacted by a theatre company and sent a contract to collect for Royalty Fee’s.  That finally happened to me in August 2015 and it has been a surreal journey up until the other night when I was handed the tickets and program to the production of my play, Hope’s Return.

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A few years back, I read an article on LaVena Johnson.  An African American soldier who had just graduated from high school in Missouri and enlisted into the army. After only serving eight weeks in Balad, Iraq, Johnson became the first woman to die in Afghanistan or Iraq from the state of Missouri.  Her family was notified that her death was ruled a suicide from a gun shot wound to the right side of her head with a M-16 rifle. Upon her family viewing the body, the gunshot was on the left side of her head along with a black eye, broken nose, several missing teeth, scratches and teeth marks on her upper body, her back and right hand burned, her vaginal area bruised and lacerated and lye had been poured into her vagina.  The Army ruled her death a suicide in 2005.

Continue reading Back to my roots, Theatre

here she is…

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My play, Hope’s Return, comes to life this week. A dream come true, sincerely   😆

Saturday is “Meet The Playwright” and it can’t get here soon enough! I am officially a professional playwright. Dreams don’t expire!

Bookshelf Help

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I’m a writer. Poet. Playwright. Novelist. Storyteller.

You should really add those titles to your library 😉 Click on the “Book” tab for more information.

Love,
Nikki 

Carnations Will Do

My first time on stage, I performed during a black history program at my elementary school. My mother gave me a bouquet of pink carnations at the end of the show.

For years, I would make excuses of “when I” or “I need to do _____ before I go” and I never pushed forward with attending the National Black Theatre Festival, the largest theatre festival in the country for African Americans. I knew I could be in attendance as a playwright, poet or actor… I felt I could, but I never believed in myself enough.

When I feel I am in a creative rut, I go back to my roots of theatre. From the stiff chairs, to the fluorescent tape on the stage, to the curtains or the hanging lights… I come alive in a theatre setting! This is where my love for the arts started. I go check out a theatre production and my wheels are turning with ideas! (yes, even if it’s a bad play. I imagine how I would’ve written or casted differently)

I didn’t know what I was going to write. I just knew I needed to get lost in my art and escape reality for awhile. I sat down and outlined, “Hope’s Return“. Three months later, I had a full length play that I began submitting to contests and festivals. And what do you say? My lil ‘ole play got accepted into the theatre festival I have been wanting to attend since I was in college!

A play about a female soldier returning home to her southern roots after her first tour in Iraq. Her family wants her back in the church, she wants to pursue her dreams as a teacher but flashbacks from the war are calling her back across seas. Her family has always trusted “giving it to God” to fix things, but will it be enough to deal with her bouts of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

So in the midst of promoting my debut novel, I am relaxing on a four day excursion with my first love, theatre. And yes, I still like carnations 🙂

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Just As I Thought

I hear stories. Feel the emotions. And if I’m lucky enough, or chosen. I’m selected to be the writer from the ethos to tell the story.

Sometimes they come as poems, prose, short stories, plays or novels.

I received an email yesterday that the play I had been working on late last year and early this year, will finally get its day on the stage next month.

“Hope’s Return” will make her debut at a major theatre festival. BEYOND THRILLED!

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so keep writing. submit with confidence. and then let it go…