Nambi E. Kelley

Nambi E. Kelley

Acting:
Nambi has penned plays for Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre, and Court Theatre/American Blues Theater in Chicago, Lincoln Center in New York, and internationally. Most recently, Kelley was named playwright in residence at the National Black Theatre in New York. Her adaptation of Native Son, directed by Seret Scott, will be published by Sam French, 2016. Native Son was presented to critical acclaim...
Acting:
Nambi has penned plays for Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre, and Court Theatre/American Blues Theater in Chicago, Lincoln Center in New York, and internationally. Most recently, Kelley was named playwright in residence at the National Black Theatre in New York. Her adaptation of Native Son, directed by Seret Scott, will be published by Sam French, 2016. Native Son was presented to critical acclaim at Court Theatre with American Blues Theatre (co-production) was recently nominated for 5 Jeff Awards including best adaptation and production of the year, and was the highest grossing production in Court Theatre's 60 year history. Native Son is also on the Kilroy's List 2015, in the top 7 % of new plays by female and trans* authors nominated by literary managers, directors, and other artists polled across the country. Kelley’s Xtigone celebrated production in Chicago (Chicago Danz Theatre Ensemble), San Francisco (African American Shakespeare Company directed by Rhodessa Jones), and was just published by YouthPlays Publishing. Kelley recently returned to Singapore to perform in her co-adaptation of The Book of Living and Dying that was published in an anthology of plays in Singapore in 2014, is working on several commissions with productions slated in 2016. Nambi is also a professional actress, most recently closing the critically acclaimed Two Trains Running at the Goodman Theatre, and has been seen on television in Person of Interest, Madam Secretary, Elementary, and Chicago PD. Nambi has a BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University, and an MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College. www.nambikelley.com

Plays

  • XTIGONE
    Chicago. Present Day. Who is putting guns into the hands of children? Xtigone’s brothers have both been killed in drive-by shootings by each other’s rival gangs. Xtigone’s uncle, Marcellus da Man, calls a press conference on CNN (Constantly Negative News) to announce that the bodies should be buried instead of uncovering the truth of violence in the streets of The City. Will Xtigone go against her powerful...
    Chicago. Present Day. Who is putting guns into the hands of children? Xtigone’s brothers have both been killed in drive-by shootings by each other’s rival gangs. Xtigone’s uncle, Marcellus da Man, calls a press conference on CNN (Constantly Negative News) to announce that the bodies should be buried instead of uncovering the truth of violence in the streets of The City. Will Xtigone go against her powerful uncle and risk death by uncovering her brother’s bodies? Using hip hop poetry, dance, and slick language, this re-imagining of Sophocles’ Antigone tells the story of the ill-fated Xtigone and her quest for her community’s truth. Xtigone was developed at in Italy at LaMaMa’s International Symposium for Playwrights under the auspices of Pulitzer Prize Winner Lynn Nottage, and was a finalist for the Kennedy Center College Theatre Festival.
  • NATIVE SON
    Chicago. The South Side. The 1930s. A world where opportunity is elusive for people like Bigger Thomas. After landing a job in the home of a wealthy family, Bigger unwittingly unleashes a series of events that violently and irrevocably seal his fate. Using W.E.B. DuBois' theory of double consciousness as a grounding point, this adaptation of Native Son focuses on the landscape inside the mind of Bigger...
    Chicago. The South Side. The 1930s. A world where opportunity is elusive for people like Bigger Thomas. After landing a job in the home of a wealthy family, Bigger unwittingly unleashes a series of events that violently and irrevocably seal his fate. Using W.E.B. DuBois' theory of double consciousness as a grounding point, this adaptation of Native Son focuses on the landscape inside the mind of Bigger Thomas, bringing the power of Richard Wright’s novel to life for a whole new generation.