Chlorine Sky

5+F, 2+M


“Ok, so boom. / We ain’t friends anymore.”
Sky and Lay Li were always in sync. But now their rhythms are changing; Sky likes swimming, and Lay Li is all about beauty. Sky, basketball; Lay Li, boys. Things make more sense underwater and on the court. This adaptation of Mahogany L. Browne’s popular young adult novel, CHLORINE SKY, is an intimate coming-of-age story told in verse about two girls who are best friends—until they aren’t. Sometimes, growing up means growing apart.

Casting & Production



SKY — Female, Black, 16. The play’s eloquent yet unassuming narrator. Feels most at home in a pool or on the basketball court, dreaming of one day playing for the WNBA. Loyal to a fault, especially when it comes to her best (and former) friend Lay Li.

LAY LI — Female, Mixed Race, 16. The self-proclaimed star in the saga of Sky and Lay Li. The “It” girl at her and Sky’s school. Energetic and confident; truly magnetic until you’re drawn close enough to see her short temper and impulsivity up close.

ESSA — Female, Black. 19. Sky’s older sister and biggest tormentor. Barely 5 feet tall with a 6-foot mouth, cued up for a slick comeback. Craves attention — negative attention included. It takes a lot to break through her tough shell.

INGA — Female, Black, 20. Sky’s older cousin/personal motivational speaker, on and off the basketball court. Typically chill but will pop off if tested. Has a close relationship with Essa even though they regularly butt heads.

CLIFTON — Male, Black, 17. Connoisseur of corny pickup lines who sweet-talks his way into Sky’s heart. Charming enough to get away with being unreliable. The comfort he provides Sky is undermined by his troubling behavior towards Lay Li.

KIYANA — Female, Black. 16. A proud “black weirdo” (before that was a thing) who pays no mind to what people think. Friendly, artistic, and attentive — the antithesis of Lay Li. A breath of fresh air in Sky’s world of fair-weather friends.

CURTIS — Male, Black. 17. Lay Li’s ex-boyfriend. Certified rude boy with a penchant for tall tales.

THE GOSSIP FOLKS CHORUS* — The unseen chorus of Sky’s peers, electric with the tea of the day. They are individually identified as HEARSAY, EAVESDROP, GRAPEVINE, BUSYBODY, and SNITCH.

SHAWN* — Male, Black. 17. Lay Li’s rebound. Prideful with a perpetual poker face.

MAMA* — Female, Black. Mid 40s. Hard-working single mother to Sky and Essa. Definitely not one of your lil’ friends. Knows how unforgiving the world can be to black girls.

TYRONE* — Male, Black. 15. A pain in the ass. Usually found talking trash on the basketball court.

ANGEL* — Female, Black. 16. A sad cautionary tale. Admired until a shocking fall from grace.

GOOGLE* — The personified voice of a search engine. Robotic and proper.

*Characters that may only be featured as voice-overs, depending on the size of the ensemble. Actors may play more than one role for these particular characters.

A working-class community in the Bay Area, California.

Various dates in the early-aughts. Sky’s narration jumps between the past, present, and non-linear dreamscapes.


“Splendid…Mahogany L. Browne’s young adult novel in verse explores the evolution of a friendship between two teenage girls. The production delivers both dramatically and – in a number of thrilling basketball sequences – athletically.”

—The Chicago Sun Times

“Poetry that meets teens where they live…’Poetry,’ [Browne] said at the time, ‘is at the core of everything I do.’ It’s certainly at the core of CHLORINE SKY…You have Browne’s gorgeous writing, putting succulent phrases and upbeat riffs in the mouths of adolescents.”

—The Chicago Tribune

“Stories abut these topics are a dime a dozen, and while some of them are thought provoking, Browne’s CHLORINE SKY…is an eye opener.”

—Around the Town Chicago