Jelisa Jay Robinson

Jelisa Jay Robinson

​ Jelisa Jay Robinson, Negra-Americana (Black American) storyteller, playwright and educator, attended the University of Texas at Austin where she majored in Latin American Studies and Theatre. During college, she wrote her first play Ice Cold Milk and an Oreo Cookie and she's been writing ever since.

Her play The Stories of Us, that tackles Black and Brown relations, Afrolatinidad and...
​ Jelisa Jay Robinson, Negra-Americana (Black American) storyteller, playwright and educator, attended the University of Texas at Austin where she majored in Latin American Studies and Theatre. During college, she wrote her first play Ice Cold Milk and an Oreo Cookie and she's been writing ever since.

Her play The Stories of Us, that tackles Black and Brown relations, Afrolatinidad and Afro-diaspora in Texas, was one of three plays chosen for the Austin Latino New Play Festival in 2015. It received a critically-acclaimed full production by Teatro Vivo in 2016, a excerpt reading at the Now Africa Festival in New York (2016), a excerpt performance at the Black and Brown Theatre Inaugural Showcase in Detroit (2016) and a developmental reading in Chicago with the theatre Vision Latino (2017).

Other full-length plays include: Fae and Paciencia (commissioned by Echame Un Ojo Latinx Arts festival in Austin, TX in 2016, reading at The Rec Room in Houston, Texas in 2017) and Delivery (Scriptworks Reading in 2017, Reading at the Mexican American Cultural Center in 2017).

Short works include Freedom (Austin One Minute Play Festival) and Dreamer's Cry (Austin One Minute Play Festival), Mi, Myself and Ay, Papi , The Third Wheel, Pop-Buelo (Fornes Playwriting Workshop Presentation 2016) and Ice Cold Milk and an Oreo Cookie (UT Lab Theatre 2010).

Jelisa was one of 14 playwrights nationwide chosen to participate in the inaugural Fornes Playwriting Workshop taught by Playwright Migdalia Cruz. She was also one of five playwrights nationally selected as a finalist for the inaugural Seattle Public Theatre Emerald New Play Prize.

She is the founder of #Teatrolatinegro, a blog dedicated to Black, Brown and Afrolatin@ theatre. She has hosted workshops, shared her experiences with diaspora and love for writing through workshops at Texas State University and other spaces in the Texas area. She is a proud member of Scriptworks.

Plays

  • Delivery
    When high school juniors Murdr, Mani and Javier find themselves in Ms. Tolivar’s English class, they begin to find themselves and express their views of the world around them. They compete for a space in the end of the year poetry competition for scholarship money and bragging rights. Welcome to the world of Black and Brown voices as they navigate living in the hood, police brutality, and the adventures of teen-hood.
  • The Stories of Us
    The Stories of Us is a collection of stories that dig deep into intercultural conflict between African Americans and Latinos, African Diaspora identity and Afrolatinidad. Think of it as a scrapbook of experiences, histories and feelings on the stage. It’s takes you through stories about African roots in Mexico, the time you told your brother you were dating a “Black girl” and that moment you were proud of your...
    The Stories of Us is a collection of stories that dig deep into intercultural conflict between African Americans and Latinos, African Diaspora identity and Afrolatinidad. Think of it as a scrapbook of experiences, histories and feelings on the stage. It’s takes you through stories about African roots in Mexico, the time you told your brother you were dating a “Black girl” and that moment you were proud of your heritage. The Stories of US details our stories as people of color trying to navigate each other’s worlds and build one together.
  • Fae and Paciencia
    Set in Texas, Fae and Paciencia tells the story of Jorge, a Mexican-American college student whose life is quickly spiraling out of control until he has an unexpected encounter with Fae, an optimistic Black millennial who has a habit of being in the right place at the right time. The play depicts young people of color navigating college, family, mental health issues.

Recommended by Jelisa Jay Robinson

  • Black Super Hero Magic Mama
    21 Nov. 2018
    This play had me laughing, crying and thinking. Craig-Galvan's piece offers a space for Black Mothers to deal with grief, pain, and loss. I love the individual voices of each character as well.
  • Desire in a Tinier House
    21 Nov. 2018
    Heard an excerpt of this piece in 2016 at the Fornes Presentation. I was captured at the ways that the writer uses weather, touch, and dialogue to flush out complicated and real characters.
  • The Accident Date
    21 Nov. 2018
    Soltero-Brown has a knack for dialogue and mastering the unique way that people talk. Every sentence seems thoughtful and connects the character/story. It was a short piece, but something that I want to see performed.
  • Noise
    21 Nov. 2018
    I like how Ricardo uses beats, pauses and other non-verbal elements to convey the characters relationship to noise. I can see this piece being a wonderful challenge for actors.
  • Ñ
    21 Nov. 2018
    Amaya's work in this play bridges science fiction and the current racial/cultural/ethnic tensions for a piece that sends the audience to question what is belonging? What is language and what is culture? What does it mean for someone to dismiss a part of them? What does it mean for someone not to resist? This is a play for the stage that needs to be seen and heard by audiences near and far.