Nikki Brake-Sillá (playwright + filmmaker) is Southern to her core with a Northern patina, and proudly calls Southwest Philadelphia home. She is the Founder of DrAW (Dramatists At War) and an inaugural member of Jouska Play Works. Nikki’s full-length plays include Trouble of the World, Finalist (Lark Apothetae, Space on Ryder - Family Residency), Semi-Finalist (O’Neill, Bay Area Playwrights Festival), Dear Ann, Residency (The Mitten Lab), Semi-Finalist (Premiere Stages), In Defense of Ourselves, Commission (Philadelphia Women’s Theater), and GTFOH. Her full-length narrative, A Weathering was a Semi-Finalist (Middlebury Scriptlab) and Second Round Selection (Sundance Narrative Lab). Nikki’s film credits include Fast Times at West Philly High (director, Debbie Morton; Frontline), for which she was the Associate Producer, Run Granny Run (director, Marlo Poras; HBO Films), for which she was the Assistant Editor. She was the production manager for UNFever (director, Andrea Weiss), and a segment producer for Emmy-winning director Greta Schiller’s No Dinosaurs in Heaven. Nikki is currently in post-production for her documentary feature The Continent of Light. She has received funding from The Lark Foundation, The Princess Grace Foundation, the Leeway Foundation and the Regional Center for Women Artists. Nikki received her M.F.A. from the City College of New York and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of Dramatists Guild and Directors Gathering.
Nikki writes what’s not said between parents and their grown children and reveals the stories behind family silences. The root of her art is centered on the experiences of voiceless populations. Nikki’s work evokes empathy through the nuanced portrayal of common humanity. The characters she pens and documents look like her. We all carry the weight of the trauma that is inflicted on Black bodies in this country. We are invested in each other’s stories and her art strives to broaden our narrative. 📸: Reginald Cunningham