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Tylie Shider Named Recipient Of 2021-22 Liberty Live Commission

Tylie Shider Named Recipient Of 2021-22 Liberty Live Commission

(UNION, NJ) -- Premiere Stages, the professional theatre in residence at Kean University, has named Tylie Shider as the recipient of the 2021/2022 Liberty Live Commission, a biennial commissioning program for New Jersey playwrights in partnership with Kean’s Liberty Hall Museum.

Tylie’s commissioned play, Certain Aspects of Conflict in the Negro Family, will explore  a family’s internal divisions in response to the 1967 Plainfield, New Jersey riots. With tensions already at an all-time high between Newark residents and police, the arrest and assault of a black cab driver by police sparked protests and riots in surrounding communities, including Plainfield. The Plainfield riots resulted in three days of looting, arson, and protest and the death of a police officer, the consequences of which impacted the community for decades to come. The script will have three developmental staged readings in October 2021 and a full production of the play is tentatively scheduled for October 2022.

Tylie Shider is a two-time recipient of the Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights’ Center and an I Am Soul playwright in residence at the National Black Theatre. He holds a BA in Journalism from Delaware State University and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU. Tylie was born and raised in Plainfield, NJ.

Now in its sixth incarnation, Liberty Live culminates with a professional Equity production of a new play that celebrates New Jersey history. Past recipients include Talking to Westfield by E.M. Lewis (2012), At Liberty Hall by James Christy (2013/2014), My Lord, What a Night by Deborah Brevoort (2015/2016), Black Tom Island by Martin Casella (2017/2018), and Robey by Joe Sutton (2019/2020).

New Jersey based playwrights interested in applying for the commission are invited to submit proposals for new plays that specifically explore New Jersey history. In addition to expanded development opportunities, commissioned writers also receive a $2,000 award and access to a professional director and dramaturg, Premiere Stages also forges collaborations and partnerships with organizations, histories societies and community groups statewide that help to provide additional sources and build audiences for the culminating production . The next commission recipient will be selected in November 2022. Premiere Stages is dedicated to supporting a diverse group of writers; playwrights of all backgrounds, ages, and experience levels are encouraged to apply.

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Premiere Stages offers affordable prices, air-conditioned facilities and free parking close to the theatre. Premiere Stages also provides free or discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities. All Premiere Stages facilities are fully accessible spaces, and companion seating is available for patrons with disabilities. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available at all times; publications in alternate formats are available with advance notice. Sign-interpreted, audio-described and open-captioned performances are available upon request; please call 908-737-4077 at least two weeks prior to your desired performance. 

Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from W. John Bauer and Nancy Boucher, The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Northfield Bank Foundation, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, The Union Foundation, E.J. Grassmann Trust, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Investors Foundation, The Union County HEART Grant, Actors’ Equity Foundation, and through the generous support of individual patrons and local organizations. Discover Jersey Arts is our marketing partner. Visit www.JerseyArts.com for more information about other arts programming happening around the Garden State. 

Premiere Stages is committed to producing topical plays and interactive programs that reflect people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, religious groups, gender identities, ages, abilities, disabilities and sexual preferences.  



Created in 2004, Premiere Stages is the professional Equity theatre in residence at Kean University. Through its unique partnership with Kean, Premiere’s play development programs, educational initiatives, and professional development opportunities actively embrace the university's academic curriculum while expanding the scope, accessibility, and prestige of the professional programming on campus. For more information, please visit Premiere Stages online at www.premierestagesatkean.com.


Founded in 1855, Kean University is one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, with a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment serving more than 16,000 students. The University’s six undergraduate colleges offer more than 50 undergraduate degrees over a full range of academic subjects. The Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers six doctoral degree programs and more than 80 options for graduate study leading to master’s degrees, professional diplomas or certifications. With campuses in Union, Toms River, Jefferson and Manahawkin, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China, Kean University furthers its mission by providing an affordable and accessible world-class education. Visit www.kean.edu.

originally published: 02/09/2021

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