Bechdel Project ROO Resident Nikki Brake-Sillá

2024/25 ROO Resident Nikki Brake-Sillá 

(photo by Reginald Cunningham)

We are delighted to announce Nikki Brake-Sillá, as the recipient of our 2024/25 ROO Residency!

Nikki will utilize the ROO Residency to delve into her thought-provoking new project, Invisi(bility). This powerful play confronts the complex intersection of race and disability in the United States. Invisi(bility) centers on Gabriela Johnson, a Black attorney with rheumatoid arthritis, who embarks on a legal battle to have Blackness recognized as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Through Gabriela's fight, the play compels audiences to critically examine the concept of a "post-racial" America and the enduring presence of racial prejudice within the legal and medical systems.

A seasoned artist with a distinctive voice, Brake-Sillá is stunningly accomplished. She is the founder of DrAW (Dramatists At War) and has been commissioned by EST/Sloan, Elevate Theatre, RECPhilly, Revolution Shakespeare, and Philadelphia Women’s Theater. She has received funding from The MAP Fund, The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation, RECPhilly, The Puffin Foundation, Jody Falco & Jeffrey Steinman,  The Lark Foundation, The Princess Grace Foundation, the Leeway Foundation, and the Regional Center for Women Artists.

We are deeply honored to support Nikki's visionary work. Invisi(bility) promises to be a powerful and thought-provoking exploration of race, disability, and the ongoing struggle for social justice in America. We believe her deft storytelling will spark important conversations and inspire change.

More About Nikki

Beyond her accomplishments as a playwright, Brake-Sillá is also a filmmaker with a deep commitment to social justice. A person with an invisible disability herself, Brake-Sillá's artistic practice exemplifies a powerful fusion of science and art. Her works consistently challenge the status quo, exposing inherent biases within the medical system. Plays like AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE and SILOS give voice to the experiences of birthing mothers and frontline healthcare workers, respectively. Her artistic lens sheds light on underrepresented narratives, fostering empathy and understanding. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the City College of New York, she is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. Learn more about her work at

The ROO Residency

In addition to the $5,000.00 of funding that comes with the ROO, Brake-Sillá will have dedicated writing retreats during the year-long residency in Essen, Germany, and Brooklyn, NY. She will also have unlimited access to Bechdel Project's studios and staff to help her develop her new play, both in collaboration with other artists and in solitude. The ROO (Room of One's Own) Residency takes its name from the seminal 1929 book by Virginia Woolf, which emphasizes the importance of dedicated space for women writers. The ROO Residency, along with the FIFE Fellowship, Interstate Initiative, and Free Community Space, comprises Bechdel Project's core development programs.

Bechdel Project ROO Residency
Bechdel Project 2022 ROO Resident Jeanne Dorsey

“At every turn, the Bechdel Project has demonstrated their steadfast belief in the play, the importance of its subject matter, and confidence in me as an artist. As a result, I have achieved my strongest and most relevant work to date. This wouldn’t have been possible without the ROO Residency.”