Jelisa Jay Robinson, Negra-Americana (Black American) storyteller, playwright and educator, attended the University of Texas at Austin where she majored in Latin American Studies and Theatre. During her time on campus, Jelisa wrote, performed and directed several plays including her first play Ice Cold Milk and an Oreo Cookie. Her play The Stories of Us, that tackles Afrolatinidad in Texas, was one of three plays chosen for the Austin Latino New Play Festival in 2015. It received a critically-acclaimed full production by Teatro Vivo in 2016. Robinson’s play Fae and Paciencia was commissioned by and read at the first Echame Un Ojo Latinx Arts festival in Austin, TX. She was one of 14 playwrights nation-wide chosen to participate in the inaugural Fornes Playwriting Workshop taught by Playwright Migdalia Cruz where she premiered a scene from her piece Pop-Buelo. She was one of five playwrights nationally selected as a finalist for the inaugural Seattle Public Theatre Emerald New Play Prize. Robinson’s work has been staged in the Now Africa Festival and the Black and Brown theatre in Detroit. Other titles include Mi, Myself and Ay, Papi , The Third Wheel, Delivery and Ice Cold Milk and an Oreo Cookie.
Robinson is a member of the LatiNegrxs Project, a multimedia space dedicated to highlighting Afrolatin@ media. She is the founder of #Teatrolatinegro, a blog dedicated to Black, Brown and Afrolatin@ theatre.
Robinson is motivated by the desire to help the next generation of Black and Brown artists feel empowered. When she is not writing, she can be found traveling, gushing over Bluey Robinson and Laz Alonzo, jamming to Los Rakas, and spending time with her family. She is a firm believer in God and bringing a positive impact in the world.
NOTE: Robinson uses the term “Negra-Americana” to pay homage to her Black American identity and the fact that she grew up around both Black and Mexican American spaces.