Hero: the boy from troy a new musical about young John Lewis. Book by Nambie E. Kelley. Music and Lyrics by Joe Plummer.

'Hero: The Boy From Troy'

10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 19, 2025 | Yardley Hall

Tickets start at $5.
School groups: please contact the Box Office for reservations.
Individual shows on sale June 17.

Individual Tickets

Recommended for grades 3-6.

Jayden is stuck in detention with a book about Congressman John Lewis, but he thinks that history has nothing to teach him.

As a boy, Lewis dreamed of being a preacher who helps others. While he doesn’t yet have a congregation, he does have a loyal group of singing chickens that listen to him as he finds his voice. On a harrowing road trip through the South, Lewis’ eyes and mind are opened to the injustices of segregation and racism, inspiring him to take action. As Lewis meets Rosa Parks and Dr. King and ultimately becomes a leader and American hero, Jayden learns how he, too, can take a stand.

First Woman, LLC

First Woman is a full-service production company that develops and produces projects for television, film, stage, and work for young audiences. Named for the East African creation story from which her first name comes, founder Nambi E. Kelley is an award-winning playwright, actress, and screenwriter. Most recently, First Woman completed a second national tour of “Jabari Dreams of Freedom” after a successful inaugural tour culminated in New York on 42nd Street at the New Victory Theatre. First Woman’s inaugural production was the digital incarnate of Jabari which has been shown across the world in multiple film festivals garnering tremendous accolades and awards.

Nambi E. Kelley

Kelley's newly formed production company, First Woman, produced a digital and in-person national tour of his 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 been selected in several film festivals, including The National Black Theatre Film Festival in North Carolina, Golden Bee International Children's Film Festival, Black Panther International Film Festival in India, and Best Kids Movie at The ARFF Paris International Awards.

Kelley also served 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 new film project. Kelley is the recipient of the NNPN annual commission where her play, “Re-Memori,” was presented at WP's Pipeline Festival in New York City. She is also winner of The Prince Prize, which grants $75,000 to her and Court Theatre for a new play based on the life of the great Kwame Ture/Stokely Carmichael 

Kelley 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 her $15,000 to participate in workshops and develop her new musical based on the early life of Congressman John Lewis for families (a commission by Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera).

Kelley 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 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 five Jeff Awards, including winning production of the year, and was the highest grossing straight play produced in Court Theatre's history.

Short-listed 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. Kelley has a BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University, formerly known as The Goodman School of Drama, and holds an MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College in Vermont.