sponsored by: craig KINGSLEY
"...that typa min’set is gonna get you caught up. Don’ think of it as tha end of high school. Think of it as the beginnin’ of sum new. Of adulthood."
Azya Lyons is a Mississippi-based creative writer. She enjoys writing fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry and plans to make writing her vocation. Azya is the recipient of 2 Silver Keys in Scholastics, has been published in 2 literary journals, and has won a national poetry contest.
Imani, Aiyanna, Chayenne, and Aaliyah have just graduated high school and are celebrating at a party in their honor, until an evening of entertainment takes a tragic turn.
Get to Know Azya
When did you start writing? What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
I started writing in middle school for language arts. I would say that my biggest influences would be Audre Lorde, Marge Piercy, and Erykah Badu.
How did you come to write your #ENOUGH play? Given that there are many dimensions to the issue of gun violence, what aspect did you focus on and why?
My play was honestly kind of hard to write, beings that it was so easy to personalize it and I couldn't if I wanted to improve upon it. I decided to focus on gun violence within the black community because that's what I grew up around and I know that there's a lot of potential in those types of stories.
What other issues or subjects do you care deeply about that you wish you saw on stage more? Why is this issue important for you?
Homophobia, transphobia, the rejection of mental health in minority communities. There are a multitude of issues I'd love to see onstage. They're important to me because these are real issues that deserve real solutions.
If you could write a play or story that represented the future you want to be a part of, what would it look like?
It would be very diverse. There'd be an eclectic cast from all different backgrounds that are talking about things personal to them and dealing with them in healthy ways.
What are some of your favorite plays?
My favorite plays are Tape by Stephen Belber, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, and A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry.
What will your next play be about?
My next play is going to be about mental illness in minority communities.
MS. MARTIN'S MALAISE
by Adelaide Fisher
Ms. Martin is an ordinary high school teacher, trying to deal with the everyday stress and worrying ‘what-ifs’ of 21st century teaching. But when her worst fears come true, and she is forced to make a difficult decision and an even more difficult confrontation, what will she do? And how will she move forward from it?
by Olivia Ridley
Propelled by the urgency of his own decay and desperate to be heard, BLACK BOY delivers his “villain’s monologue” - a parting speech typically delivered to a hero before their death - to his audience held at gunpoint.
GUNS IN DRAGONLAND
by Eislinn Gracen
During a recess like any other, Lilah Gordon and her best friend/imaginary dragon, Toucan, set off on a special adventure to help Lilah earn dragon wings of her own. But things go awry when a mysterious noise from her nearby school compels the duo to embark on the biggest quest they have ever encountered.
by Sarah Schecter
In this re-imagining of Buffalo Bill’s storytelling and P.T. Barnum’s grandeur, a ringleader explores the fusion of American myth and gun culture through four acts of an incredible spectacle - and a show gone terribly wrong.
by Debkanya Mitra
Four individuals tell the story of Malcolm, a Black folk musician whose quest through the Eastern Seaboard to find himself was violently interrupted, painting an evocative picture of the connection shared among strangers through a single life.
by Elizabeth Shannon
When a rumor about a school shooter begins to circulate, Kiersa and her friends must decide what they should do to protect their classmates before it is too late.
Explore this year's collection of plays that reveal the many dimensions of gun violence in America and the young playwrights who wrote them.
Students in grades 6-12 write short plays on the topic of gun violence.