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Nambi E. Kelley

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Nambi E. Kelley BIO

Nambi E. Kelley is an accomplished and award-winning playwright and actress. Playwriting honors include: New Victory LabWorks Playwright-in Residence. She was chosen by Toni Morrison to adapt her novel JAZZ. Her adaptation of Richard Wright’s NATIVE SON which had its world premiere at Court Theatre has been seen across the country and premiered off-Broadway in 2019 at The Duke on 42nd Street (The Acting Company; AUDELCO Award for “Best Play”). She was a former playwright-in-residence at the National Black Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, and The Dramatists Guild Fellows Program. She is the recipient of the 2020 NNPN annual commission, the Prince Prize 2019, and a Dramatists Guild Foundation Writers Alliance Grant 2018-19. Her other plays include: Xtigone (African-American Shakespeare Co, San Francisco, Spring 2012) and adapting and performing in The Book of Living and Dying, Singapore Arts Festival, summer 2012. Other honors include: Norman Mailer Writing Colony Fellow 2012, La MaMa Playwrights Symposium Playwright-In-Residence in Spoleto, Italy under the tutelage of Lisa Kron and Pulitzer prize winner Lynn Nottage, The Friends Fellowship (Ragdale Foundation), the 3 Arts Fellowship (twice nominated), TCG Candidate for Playwriting: Goodman Theatre, the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference nomination, and was honored at the Black Ensemble Theatre for her contributions in playwriting. Nambi's newly formed production company, First Woman Inc, is currently producing a digital and national tour of Nambi's young audiences' play, JABARI DREAMS OF FREEDOM, directed by Daniel Carlton. Nambi served as a writer on Showtime’s The Chi, a new show to air called Our Kind of People (Fox), and will serve as story editor on an Apple Plus show, TBA. She is also in development with several other film and TV projects.

Also an actress, Nambi has worked on stage and television in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and internationally, playing opposite such artists as Phylicia Rashad, Alfre Woodard, Blair Underwood, and Patrick Swayze.

Nambi E. Kelley News

The Playwrights Realm Reveals Chris Berry as Organization's New Executive Director

The Playwrights Realm has announced that Chris Berry will join its leadership team as the company’s new Executive Director. Learn more about Berry here!
Video: Watch A Scene From August Wilson's JOE TURNER'S COME AND GONE at Goodman Theatre

Watch a scene from August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone, extended at The Goodman Theatre through May 19.
Video: Watch a Montage from August Wilson's JOE TURNER'S COME AND GONE at Goodman Theatre

Watch a montage from August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone, extended at the Goodman Theatre through May 19.
Review: JOE TURNER'S COME AND GONE at Goodman Theatre

Under the meticulous direction of Chuck Smith, the Goodman’s newest revival of JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE emphasizes the play’s continued relevance through masterful performances that find cause for celebration and laughter even in the face of oppression. The production has already been extended through May 19 due to popular demand.
JOE TURNER'S COME AND GONE Extends at Goodman Theatre

Tonight, longtime August Wilson interpreter Chuck Smith’s major revival of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone opens—and extends its run. Learn how to purchase tickets !
Cast Set For NATIVE SON at Lifeline Theatre

Casting has been announced for Chicagoan Nambi E. Kelley’s adaptation of Richard Wright’s powerful introspection on race and justice like never before. Native Son runs at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. in Rogers Park, from May 10 – June 30, 2024.
National Black Theatre Opens Applications for 2024-2026 SOUL SERIES L.A.B. PROGRAMS

NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE is now accepting applications for the 2024-2026 SOUL SERIES L.A.B. PROGRAMS. Learn how to apply!
August Wilson's Work Returns to the Goodman; Annual Competition Winners Advance to Finals

Rehearsals for longtime August Wilson interpreter Chuck Smith’s new production of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone are underway with an all-Chicago cast. Learn more about the production.
See August Wilson's Works at Three Chicago Theatres This Spring

This spring, the legacy of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson will light up Chicago stages. Learn more here!
John Douglas Thompson & Nicole Ari Parker to Lead Red Bull Theater's ANTONY & CLEOPATRA

RED BULL THEATER has revealed updated casting for the next offering of a new season of OBIE Award-winning Revelation Readings: Antony & Cleopatra by William Shakespeare. See who is starring!
Photos: Take a Look Back at The Ford's Theatre Legacy Commissions: A First Look

Take a look back at the readings and talkbacks from The Ford's Theatre Legacy Commissions: A First Look, presented on January 26-27, 2024 at Ford's Theatre!
Lifeline Theatre's Retelling Of Chicagoan Nambi E. Kelley's NATIVE SON Adaptation, May 10 - June 30

Lifeline Theatre presents a retelling of Nambi E. Kelley's 'Native Son' adaptation, directed by Ilesa Duncan. Don't miss this powerful production from May 10 - June 30 in Chicago.
Lifeline Theatre Announces New Managing Director And Development Consultant Added To Team In The New Year

Lifeline Theatre has announced that Elizabeth Rupp, recognized for her work in the arts administration sector, has been hired as the Managing Director. She joins the team in its mission of exploring, interpreting, and reimagining books and other literary works to create stories that move audiences beyond the margins of their own lives.
Daphne Rubin-Vega, Kara Young, Reynaldo Piniella & More to Star in HAMLET Reading at The Acting Company 

The Acting Company has revealed the cast for their reading of Hamlet. See the full cast and learn how to purchase tickets!
Ford's Theatre to Present 'The Ford's Theatre Legacy Commissions: A First Look' & More

Ford’s Theatre will present The Ford’s Theatre Legacy Commissions: A First Look on January 26-27, 2024. Learn additional details!
American Blues Theater Will Open its First Permanent Home Next Month

American Blues Theater, Chicago’s second oldest ensemble theater, under the artistic and executive leadership of Gwendolyn Whiteside, will celebrate the opening of its first permanent home, a two-theater venue, located at 5627 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago. 
The Acting Company to Present Annual Louanna O. Carlin & John MacDonald Reading Series

The Acting Company will present their annual Louanna O. Carlin & John MacDonald Reading Series, featuring a trio of unique Shakespeare interpretations. Get all the details about this exciting event in New York City.
Interview: Margo Hall of NOLLYWOOD DREAMS at San Francisco Playhouse Thinks We Could All Use a Good Laugh These Days

BroadwayWorld talks to Bay Area theater veteran Margo Hall about directing 'Nollywood Dreams,' red-hot playwright Jocelyn Bioh's rollicking Nigeria-set comedy running at San Francisco Playhouse September 28th to November 4th
National Black Theatre Selects Five Artists for 2023 Soul Series Lab Residency Program

Learn about the five talented artists selected for National Black Theatre's 2023 Soul Series Lab Residency Program. Discover their unique work and get an inside look at this exciting opportunity for emerging artists.
Full Cast & Creative Team Unveiled for The Acting Company's World Premiere of Lisa Peterson's ODYSSEY 

The Acting Company has revealed the full cast and creative team for Lisa Peterson's world premiere of ODYSSEY. Get all the details and book your tickets now.

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