Nia Akilah Robinson
A comedy about bribery, dated arbitrary active articulator warmups for actors, and hierarchies within creative institutions.
Nia Akilah Robinson (she/her) is a playwright and actor who reps Harlem with all her might. She is a 2023-2024 Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow at Juilliard. Nia has been awarded a 2023 Miranda Family Fund Commission, NYSAF Artist-In-Residence, National Black Theater Soul Series, Residency at The Pocantico Center through YoungArts, NYSCA Grant Awardee (CCCADI), Film & TV Mentorship by Mitzi Miller. Nia is shortlisted finalist for the 2023 Theatre503’s International Playwriting Award. Her work has been seen and developed with The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep, GPTC, SPACE on Ryder Farm, EST, Waterwell, Classical Theater of Harlem, Urbanite, and New Georges. She has been a MacDowell & Travis Bogard Eugene O’Neill Foundation Fellow. She was a finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Blue Ink Playwriting Award, and NYTW 2050 Artistic Fellowship. She is a member or alumna of EST’s Youngblood, I-73 at Page 73, The Orchard Project, The Wish Collective, and TheBlackHERthePen.
A BIT ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?
Since I was little. I wrote what I thought to be as “stories”, with mostly dialogue. My mother, was incredibly proud of me, and had me read it to the principal of my elementary school. A very proud moment.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
I’ve taught Voice and Speech for middle school actors. From my memory (but I could be remembering this incorrectly), as a mini warm up, I assigned students to invent their own tongue twisters…and whoever had the most hilarious won. It was one of my favorite teaching moments.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
There are two words I’d like to offer instead.
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
Those who have contributed positively to my personal and artistic growth.
That list I will hold close to my heart.
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
Tanya Saracho plays
Lauren Yee plays
Alice Childress plays
and many many more.
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
The Wish Collective, a group I am apart of wrote a play, https://www.thewishcollective.org/the-play. It is free to read and perform.