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Lycoming College’s theatre department concludes the “dismantled” series of play readings with a virtual performance of “Lyon’s Den” by TJ Young, Saturday, March 13, 7:30 p.m. The live performance is free and open to the public. Click here to access.
“Lyon’s Den” follows Q, a young poet and only Lyon son, as he takes the audience through the moments that lead to the demise of his family. This new work explores the pain of loss, the purpose of family, and how to make a house a home again after it has been torn apart. “I wrote it after my family had experienced multiple deaths across a two-year time span. I noticed the way that we all mourned and processed differently. I wanted to explore that pain, using the backdrop of a black family to normalize conversations around that pain,” said Young.
Playwright Dan Caffrey said Young, “blends the straightforward and the mysterious with such grace, humor, and compassion. Make no mistake—all of these characters make some egregious mistakes, but TJ never judges any of them. And thus the script becomes a thesis on radical empathy and forgiveness.”
Young is a playwright from Texas currently based in Pittsburgh where he serves as co-representative for the Dramatists Guild – Pittsburgh region. He received a master’s of fine arts in dramatic writing from Texas State University. Young has been a teaching artist with City Theatre in Pittsburgh and worked with Quantum Theatre in Pittsburgh, and is also the NPP Vice-Chair for Region 2 of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He is a partner at subTEXT Solutions Dramaturgy Group and with the groundbreaking Entertainment Engineering Collective.
His plays include “No. 6” (2017 Harold and Mimi Steinberg Award Winner – KCACTF); “Lyons’s Den” (2018 Harold and Mimi Steinberg Distinguished Play Winner); “Dark Skinned Pavement” (Inkslinger Playwriting Award Winner); “Ruby’s Baby Blue” (2016 John Cable Short Play Regional Selection- KCACTF); “Hell is Empty” (2017 John Cable Short Play Regional Selection – KCACTF); and “Hallmark” (TETA Playfest 10-minute Winner), among others. Young was the recipient of the 2017 Ken Ludwig Playwriting Scholarship. He has had productions at Texas State University as part of their New Works Festival, Director/Designer Collaboration Project, and as part of their 2016-2017 Main Stage Season. He was the 2019 Spotlight Artist of Throughline Theatre Company in Pittsburgh.
The “dismantled” series provides an opportunity for the campus community to further advance its conversation about societal change, most specifically, problems of race. Directed and organized by Nigel Semaj ’17, the collection of plays focuses on the narratives of Black and brown people, equity, diversity, inclusion, and how to move toward a collective liberation. Each virtual reading is followed by talkbacks with invited guests.
All four live performances of the “dismantled” series begin at 7:30 p.m., are free and open to the public, and can be accessed at: https://www.lycoming.edu/theatre/schedule.aspx. The series includes:
- Feb. 20: “A Case for Black Girls Setting Central Park on Fire” by Kori Alston
- Feb. 27: “Collective Empathy Formation from 1968 and 2018” by Calley N. Anderson
- March 6: “Spell Number 7” by Ntozake Shange
- March 13: “Lyon’s Den” by TJ Young