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In Their Silence by TS Hawkins

In Their Silence
by TS Hawkins

Grace is a burgeoning therapist. Merci dangles for freedom at the bottom of a bourbon glass. College sweethearts and newlyweds, they elope to Philadelphia for a fresh beginning. Stumbling into polarizing landscapes, they struggle in the margins of heart and home.

They'll Neglect to Tell You was devised as a vignette in 2015 as part of the Painted Bride Arts Center’s The Souls of Black Folk Project facilitated by Cara Blouin. This solo piece was written and performed by TS Hawkins. They'll Neglect to Tell You is a choreopoem painting an unfortunate truth of Philadelphia's social-political landscape. With educational budget cuts, prisons on the rise, and white flight profiting from black and brown bodies struggling in the margins, Hawkins pens the reality of a city's "brotherly love".

In 2019, TS Hawkins was awarded the Jilline Ringle Solo Performance Residency at 1812 Productions. The focus of the residency is the development of a piece already in progress. Hawkins partnered with Lois Moses to expand They’ll Neglect to Tell You. Moses served as director, dramaturg, and videographer during the residency program.

July 2020, They’ll Neglect to Tell You was featured on "I Put on Pants for This"; a webcast produced by 1812 Productions founders Jen Childs and Scott Greer. During the webcast, TS Hawkins and Lois Moses discussed the process, the journey, and the transformation of the choreopoem.

October 2020, They’ll Neglect to Tell You was selected for the 5th Annual Bridge PHL Theatre Festival under the direction of Lois Moses. Under the theme “essential”, the festival strives to foster healing connections between our rich and diverse communities by encouraging openness and dialogue on racial prejudice, privilege, inclusion, intersectionality, and bias. Billed as a Workshop Reading via Zoom, the following actors were cast Betsy Vivar-Cortes as Grace and Cynda Purnell as Merci.

January 2021, They’ll Neglect to Tell You was selected as part of The New Virtual Play Reading Festival hosted by Gabe Moses. Under the direction of Carley S. Robinson, the following actors were cast India Knight as Grace; Cynda Purnell as Merci; and Mikayla Johnson reading stage directions.

May 2021, They'll Neglect to Tell You was selected as part of Theatre Exile's Studio X-hibition new play development reading series. The virtual reading was directed by Lois Moses featuring Cynda Purnell as Grace, Angela Bey as Merci, and Mikayla Johnson presenting stage directions.

November 2021, They’ll Neglect to Tell You formally pivoted to In Their Silence.

David P.: The language is beautifully crafted, thank you for it!

Lee E.: Beautiful - I feel seen & shown & Thank you for that!!

Rudolph L.: Wonderful, creative, and insightful!

P.O.P P: TS, I love your way with words so much!

Monica D.: Speechless! You’re an amazing artist TS Hawkins; thank you for your insight!

Morgan H.: I am stunned by all the poetry and visceral language; I feel every assonance! This is such an important and deeply intimate piece!!!

Frank L.: Wow, wow, wow! The development & expansion of this piece is phenomenal. Particularly wowed by Hawkins’s handling of the relationship between #GraceAndMerci while hitting monumental points of view in today’s climate. And, the visual backdrops were on point!

Minou P. Devastating!!! Thank you, TS!

Nicole P..: Heart-searing imagery...followed the two until the very end. Wow!

Jacinta B.: Merci's "They'll Neglect..." monologue was EVERYTHING!! What a beautiful and timely piece by TS Hawkins. I knew it was going to great but you simply continue to outdo yourself. I loved this & I love you!!

Zandra E.: So beautiful and resonant! Thank you TS and team!

Gabrielle C.: Betsy and Cynda are riveting; as usual! TS Hawkins does the intimacy of human relationships like nobody’s business! So beautiful and painful!

Kathleen H.: Lovely poetic language; always from TS Hawkins!!!

Alex: The language here is gorgeous!

Brey Ann B.: All the feels!!!!! TS Hawkins is a beautiful poet and I feel fortunate to know their work. This piece is some of the purest observations of love that I have ever read. Glad to witness the journey of it!

Illyus: Not just the words but the expressions, the tones, the energy, everything conveyed through the screen. Well Done!

Denise C.: Great work, all! Congrats TS and cast!


Merci's monologue, from (an elegy, too) by TS Hawkins, is featured in Rising Voices: Poems Towards a Social Justice Revolution [University Professors Press]

Coming Soon: In Their Silence [Limited Edition Script]


  1. Wonderful as always TS. I am looking forward to seeing the adapted version of the original work. I just love Grace and Merci!!!


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