Each month on The Subtext, Brian speaks with a playwright about life, writing, and whatever itches we are scratching. On this month’s episode, Brian visits Brooklyn, N.Y., for a chat with playwright TyLie Shider.
Shider is the inaugural playwright in residence at ArtYard, the I Am Soul playwright in residence at the National Black Theatre, and a 2022-23 McKnight Fellow in Playwriting at the Playwrights’ Center. He is also a recipient of Premiere Stages’ Liberty Live commission and two consecutive Jerome Fellowships. His recent projects include the fall 2022 New Jersey premiere of Certain Aspects of Conflict in the Negro Family at Premiere Stages, The Gospel Woman at National Black Theatre, and Whittier at Playwrights Center. He holds a BA in Journalism from Delaware State University and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU. He is a professor of playwriting at Minneapolis’s Augsburg University, and a staff writer for Minnesota Playlist.
Tylie grew up as one of six children for his parents, “the Black Brady Bunch,” in his words. Or maybe that should be the Partridge Family: Both his mom and dad are musicians. Dad, in particular, was a guitarist and songwriter, and Tylie says he learned to write by reading his dad’s lyrics. Songs turned into poetry, and over time that poetry evolved into plays. But the influence took hold, and music remains a central part of his plays.
As Tylie says, “The backdrop to my life has been rehearsal,” due to his parents’ involvement in music and performance. As a result many of his plays he describes as “rehearsal dramas,” and he tries to that capture that sonic world in his writing.
This episode can also be found here.
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