Nambi E. Kelley

Nambi serves as a season 2 co-producer on Peacock’s Bel Air. Previous television writing credits include: Lady In The Lake (Apple) Our Kind of People (Fox), and The Chi (Showtime). She is also in development with Lagralane on a film project TBA. Ms. Kelley is the recipient of the NNPN annual commission where her play, Re-Memori was just presented at WP’s Pipeline Festival in New York City. She is also winner of The Prince Prize which grants $75,000 to Nambi and Court Theatre for a new play based on the life of the great Kwame Ture/Stokely Carmichael. Nambi was named a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow and New Victory LabWorks Fellow. She just completed a residency at New Victory Theatre through the LabWorks Program for BIPOC artists in New York City which gifted Nambi $15,000 to participate in workshops and develop her new musical for families based on the early life of Congressman John Lewis (a commission by Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera). Nambi’s John Lewis musical, titled Hero: The Boy From Troy, will tour regionally in early 2023. Nambi is a former playwright-in-residence at the National Black Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, and a former Dramatists Guild Fellow. She was a finalist for the Francesca Primus Award, and The Kevin Spacey Foundation Award. She was chosen by Tony Morrison to adapt Morrison’s Jazz, which premiered at Baltimore Center Stage in 2017. Her adaptation of Richard Wright’s Native Son (Sam French, Concord Theatricals) premiered in New York produced by the The Acting Company at The Duke on 42nd Street in July 2019, and was nominated for New York’s Drama League Awards, winning Best Production from the AUDELCO Awards. The world premiere of Native Son was presented to critical acclaim at Court Theatre, received nominations for 5 Jeff Awards including winning production of the year, and was the highest grossing straight play produced in Court Theatre’s 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 published by YouthPlays Publishing. Nambi’s newly formed production company, FIRST WOMAN, is currently producing a digital and in person national tour of Nambi’s young audiences’ play, Jabari Dreams of Freedom, directed by Daniel Carlton. The in person tour recently premiered off-Broadway at the renowned New Victory Theatre on 42nd Street. The digital version of Jabari has received been selected in several film festivals, including The National Black Theatre Film Festival in North Carolina, Golden Bee International Children’s Film Festival and Black Panther International Film Festival in India, and The ARFF Paris International Awards. Shortlisted professional writing affiliations include: New Victory Playwright in Residence, 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. 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.

Photo by Jane Feldman Photography