So who’s this Danielle character anyway…

January 14, 2013 – BOTTLE TREES by Danielle Eliska Lyle

Danielle E Lyle HS

1)Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you write….
a little bit about me…hmmm… i am a complete nerd. i look forward to emoji with my sister everyday; our texts should be considered for a comedic coffee table book but they’re too scandalous. i order a soy hot chocolate with whip and caramel drizzle from starbucks. i stalk kevin r. free’s twitter page most mornings so i can laugh “louder than julia roberts”.

why i write is extremely complex… the simple and truest statement i can give is that it’s a calling. and when it’s a calling, there are no other options.

2)Why did you write this play?
bottle trees started out as a 15-page short. i am deeply fascinated with african american folklore as well as creole culture…one evening, a brilliantly colored bottle tree came to mind… i did some research and the rest is history.

3)How did you find Blackboard?
post-graduation, franz reynold suggested me and a few of my colleagues attend one of Blackboard’s open readings. he encouraged us to bring pages to work scenes on their feet… and there it is, folks– epiphany.

4)What is important to you about a community of black writers?
i find it highly important to tell our own stories… without reservation, unafraid… it is imperative to not be owned… to step out of deeply casted shadows and write our own scripts. i think i tweeted that once.

5)How do you want people to feel after they have heard this play?
i believe i just want people to feel, strongly. whatever the visceral affect, is of no consequence. and that is not said arrogantly. i want anyone who witnesses any genre of my work, to feel deeply, strongly, unyielding. and may that force be powerful enough for viewers to carry away something that alters a part of them— whether it is in thought, action, desire or speech. It is then i’ll know i’ve effectively done what i’ve been called to do.


About blackboardplays

Familiar with the collectives for poets and other Black writers that had been created over the years and slightly envious of that sense of community, I became curious about a similar place for playwrights. I wanted to see Black playwrights, actors and directors excited over each others work and supporting each other. I was longing for a “home” as a Black playwright and wanted to see other Black artists in that home, not to be exclusive, but because there was a void. I was also eager to find other Black playwrights who shared a passion for the craft of storytelling. The stories of the Black community are diverse and are often hidden behind the blockbuster stereotyped versions. The non-artistic Black community, not involved in the writing of these stories, is yearning to see themselves in our stories and it is apart of my life’s work to ensure that happens. the cell is any artists’ dream: a new space that supports you as you grow, committed to new work and the art. This allows the writer to focus on the craft - to focus on their story. Nancy Manocherian and Kira Simring welcomed this idea with open arms and instantly became apart of what we later called “Blackboard Reading Series”. Every reading will conclude a twenty minute talk-back with the audience. Dialogue with the community is essential to what we want to do with the series. As we grow, there may be more readings a month, play festivals and of course productions. We want to nurture and develop new black playwrights for this generation! Thank You! Garlia Cornelia Jones Founder, Blackboard Reading Series
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