n a m b i e v e l y n k e l l e y , a c t r e s s / p l a y w r i g h t
t h e a c t r e s s
Nambi E. Kelley most recently Nya in MacArthur Genius Dominique Morriseau's Pipeline. She also played the role of Risa to critical acclaim in the Goodman Theatre's production of Two Trains Running, having been nominated for a Black Theatre Alliance Award and a Broadway Theatre World Award for her work. Kelley returns from Singapore where she co-adapted and performed in The Book of Living and Dying at the Singapore Arts Festival, commissioned by the Finger Players Theatre (Singapore) and Teatri Sbagliati (Italy). Additional U.S. credits include: Court Martial at Fort Devens (New York debut, New Federal Theatre, winner of 6 AUDELCO AWARDS including Best Ensemble Cast and Best Production of the Year) and Charleston Olio (opposite Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad at the National Black Theatre Festival). Ms. Kelley was also the Goodman Theatre’s 2013 nominee for TCG’s Fox Fellowship. Notable regional credits include: Seven Guitars (TheatreWorks Colorado Springs, Broadway World Theatre Award Nomination: Best Lead Actress, Gees Bend, (Arkansas Repertory Theatre), Lydia Diamond’s Harriet Jacobs (Steppenwolf Theatre, Kansas City Rep), The Good Negro (Goodman Theatre/Hattie McDaniel Black Theatre Alliance Award nomination) The Lost Boys of Sudan (Victory Gardens), The Glass Menagerie (Steppenwolf Theatre) The Ballad of Emmett Till (Goodman Theatre), Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Goodman Theatre/Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination: Principle Actress, Ruby Dee Award Nomination Best Lead Actress) Drowning Crow (Goodman Theatre) Nikki Giovanni: New Songs for a New Day (Steppenwolf Theatre) Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, (Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles), and Antigone (South Coast Repertory Theatre). Television credits include: Search Party (TBS), Madam Secretary (CBS), Elementary (CBS), Person of Interest (CBS) , Chicago PD (NBC), The Beast (A&E) guest starring opposite Patrick Swayze, L.A. Dragnet (ABC), City of Angels (CBS) recurring, Early Edition (CBS), Cupid (ABC), Close to Home (WB Pilot) recurring, and Strong Medicine (Lifetime). Ms. Kelley, also an award-winning, produced, and published playwright, is a recent alum of Playwrights Unit at the Goodman Theatre. Ms. Kelley has a B.F.A. from The Theatre School at DePaul University, formerly known as The Goodman School of Drama, and has an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont.
t h e p l a y w r i g h t
Nambi has penned plays for Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre, and Court Theatre/American Blues Theater in Chicago, Lincoln Center and the National Black Theatre in New York, and internationally internationally with LATT Children’s Theatre/ Unibooks Publishing Company (South Korea) Teatri Sbagliati (Italy), and The Finger Players (Singapore) where she also performed in the co-adapted production in Singapore of The Book of Living and Dying. Most recently, Kelley is winner of The Prince Prize 2019, and was named a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow and New Victory LabWorks Fellow 2018-19. She just completed a residency at the National Black Theatre in New York, was a finalist for the Francesca Primus Award, The Kevin Spacey Foundation Award, and is working on an adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Jazz. Her adaptation of Native Son will premiere in New York produced the The Acting Company at The Duke on 42nd Street, July 2019. Native Son was just published by Sam French, 2016, and will have several productions across the country next season, including at The Kirk Douglas in Spring 2019. The world premiere of 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) and San Francisco (African American Shakespeare Company directed by Rhodessa Jones) with several high school and college productions across the country, and was just published by YouthPlays Publishing. Other writing credits include: Shortlisted professional writing affiliations include: National Black Theatre Playwright in Residence, Goodman Theatre Playwrights Unit, Steppenwolf Theatre Company New Plays Lab Playwright-In-Residence, Goodman Theatre/Ellen Stone Belic Institute/ Fellowship Recipient, Goodman Theatre Lila Wallace Fellowship, La MaMa Playwrights Symposium Playwright-In-Residence, Spoleto, Italy under the tutelage of Pulitzer prize winner Lynn Nottage, Ragdale Foundation Artist in Residence, HealthWorks Theatre Colonel Stanley McNeil Playwright-In-Residence, Chicago Dramatists Playwright Emeritus, Danny Glover’s Robey Theatre Co. Playwriting Lab (Formerly The Blacksmyths At The Mark Taper Forum), and MPAACT Playwright Emeritus, Chicago. 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. Ms. Kelley has a BFA from The Theatre School at De Paul University, formerly known as The Goodman School of Drama, and holds an MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College in Vermont. www.nambikelley.com