Mahogany L. Browne


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Full-length, Drama

By Mahogany L. Browne

“Ok, so boom. / We ain’t friends anymore.” Sky and Lay Li were always in sync. But now their rhythms are changing; Sky likes swimming, and Lay Li is all about beauty. Sky, basketball; Lay Li, boys. Things make more sense underwater and on the court. This adaptation of Mahogany L. Browne’s popular young adult novel, CHLORINE SKY, is an intimate coming-of-age story told in verse about two girls who are best friends—until they aren’t. Sometimes, growing up means growing apart.

“Splendid...Mahogany L. Browne’s young adult novel in verse explores the evolution of a friendship between two teenage girls. The production delivers both dramatically and - in a number of thrilling basketball sequences - athletically.”
—The Chicago Sun Times

“Poetry that meets teens where they live...’Poetry,’ [Browne] said at the time, ‘is at the core of everything I do.’ It’s certainly at the core of CHLORINE SKY...You have Browne’s gorgeous writing, putting succulent phrases and upbeat riffs in the mouths of adolescents.”
—The Chicago Tribune

“Stories abut these topics are a dime a dozen, and while some of them are thought provoking, Browne’s CHLORINE an eye opener.”
—Around the Town Chicago

Cast of Characters
(5+W, 2+M)

SKY — Female, Black, 16. The play’s eloquent yet unassuming narrator. Feels most at home in a pool or on the basketball court, dreaming of one day playing for the WNBA. Loyal to a fault, especially when it comes to her best (and former) friend Lay Li.
LAY LI — Female, Mixed Race, 16. The self-proclaimed star in the saga of Sky and Lay Li. The “It” girl at her and Sky’s school. Energetic and confident; truly magnetic until you’re drawn close enough to see her short temper and impulsivity up close.
ESSA — Female, Black. 19. Sky’s older sister and biggest tormentor. Barely 5 feet tall with a 6-foot mouth, cued up for a slick comeback. Craves attention — negative attention included. It takes a lot to break through her tough shell.
INGA — Female, Black, 20. Sky’s older cousin/personal motivational speaker, on and off the basketball court. Typically chill but will pop off if tested. Has a close relationship with Essa even though they regularly butt heads.
CLIFTON — Male, Black, 17. Connoisseur of corny pickup lines who sweet-talks his way into Sky’s heart. Charming enough to get away with being unreliable. The comfort he provides Sky is undermined by his troubling behavior towards Lay Li.
KIYANA — Female, Black. 16. A proud “black weirdo” (before that was a thing) who pays no mind to what people think. Friendly, artistic, and attentive — the antithesis of Lay Li. A breath of fresh air in Sky’s world of fair-weather friends.
CURTIS — Male, Black. 17. Lay Li’s ex-boyfriend. Certified rude boy with a penchant for tall tales.
THE GOSSIP FOLKS CHORUS* — The unseen chorus of Sky’s peers, electric with the tea of the day. They are individually identified as HEARSAY, EAVESDROP, GRAPEVINE, BUSYBODY, and SNITCH.

SHAWN* — Male, Black. 17. Lay Li’s rebound. Prideful with a perpetual poker face.

MAMA* — Female, Black. Mid 40s. Hard-working single mother to Sky and Essa. Definitely not one of your lil’ friends. Knows how unforgiving the world can be to black girls.
TYRONE* — Male, Black. 15. A pain in the ass. Usually found talking trash on the basketball court.
ANGEL* — Female, Black. 16. A sad cautionary tale. Admired until a shocking fall from grace.
GOOGLE* — The personified voice of a search engine. Robotic and proper.
* Characters that may only be featured as voice-overs, depending on the size of the ensemble. Actors may play more than one role for these particular characters.
A working-class community in the Bay Area, California.
Various dates in the early-aughts.
Sky’s narration jumps between the past, present, and non-linear dreamscapes.


Mahogany L. Browne

Mahogany L. Browne is the Executive Director of JustMedia, a media literacy initiative designed to support the groundwork of criminal justice leaders and community members. This position is informed by her career as a writer, organizer, & educator. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research & Rauschenberg. She is the author of recent works: Chlorine Sky, Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby, & Black Girl Magic. Browne is the founder of the diverse lit initiative, Woke Baby Book Fair; and is excited about her latest poetry collection. I Remember Death By Its Proximity to What I Love is a book-length poem responding to the impact of mass incarceration on women and children). She is  based in Brooklyn and is the first-ever Poet-in-Residence at the Lincoln Center. [FULL BIO]