#blackstoriesmatter: Lekethia Dalcoe and Slope No.12

It’s Thursday, and we are much later than usual in sharing with you about Monday’s reading.  This week has been full of frozen emotion as two more murders took place.

Alton Sterling

Philando Castile

As Black storytellers, the playwrights that we feature at the cell every month are passing on legacies and ensuring that parts of our history as Africans throughout the Diaspora are told.

Monday’s reading is no different.

Slope No.12


About the play

It’s 1932 in Birmingham, Alabama at the Pratt Coal mining prison, Slope No. 12. Cheeks and Odin Dean are prisoners and Ezekiel finds bones. Maybell and Vivie Eillien are prostitutes, and Green Cottenham’s spirit comes calling. In the American South, there had to be a system created to control the newly freed black population and convict labor became that solution. This here be the Pratt Coal mines, where black men are picked up for any minimum charge like spitting, talking loud in the presence of a white woman, gambling, or just “being”. In 1932, black prison labor is free, hard, and easy. They are simply slaves given a different name.

About the playwright



Lekethia Dalcoe is a Houston native, residing in New York City. She holds a MA in Theatre from Texas A&M University’s Commerce campus and a MFA in Acting from the New school for Drama in NYC. Her recent playwrighting history includes, “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red” (Full-length) which has been commissioned by the Congo Square Theatre in Chicago for its 2015-2016 Power of Her season; directed by Tony nominated actor/director Harry Lennix, produced at the Venus/Adonis festival (2015) in New York, and as a staged reading for “The Keep Soul Alive” playwrighting series at The National Black (NBT) in New York. Other plays include: “Black Bars” (2014) (Full-length),“Charmed Love” (2013) (One-Act), “Prophecy of the Sands” (2007) (Full-length) that has been produced and staged at PraireView A&M University’s Black Box Theatre and produced at the 2007 TETA Playfest Festival in Houston, TX and “Gardenias” which is currently in the works. Some of Ms. Dalcoe’s acting credits include, RSC “Julius Caesar”(Company), “In the Blood” (Hester),”Woyzeck” (Marie), “Shakespeare’s Henry” (Warwick), “Tempest”(Ariel), “The Blacks” (Bobo) and “No Exit” (Estelle).

RSVP: info@blackboardplays.com

$10 Suggested

Wine and Refreshments served

Facebook RSVP


July 2016 Blackboard



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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