Watch Jabari Dreams of Freedom Trailer
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Jabari Dreams of Freedom

First Woman
from New York, New York

March 25 – April 3, 2022
Recommended Ages
For everyone 7 and up
Tickets start at $20
What Kind of Show?
Theater; eclectic and sincere
Running Time
45 minutes with no intermission
The New Victory Theater 209 W 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036

We are experiencing technical difficulties with our ticketing system. Please contact our box office at 646.223.3010 in order to purchase tickets at this time.

Sensory-Friendly Performance

About the Show

Young Jabari isn’t trying to dream big. He’s just trying to live free. Through his art and his dreams, Jabari escapes to where Ruby Bridges, Claudette Colvin and other young heroes of the Civil Rights Movement teach him what it means to be fearless. When he meets an impressionable six-year-old Barack Obama, will Jabari have the courage to share the lessons he learned from the past to help ensure the future? Through rap, freedom songs, hip-hop dance and humor, Jabari Dreams of Freedom empowers young audiences to be brave and stand up. Let’s lift every voice and sing!

Young Jabari learns lessons of courage from civil rights-era heroes.

Did You Know?

  1. In the spirit of this production, protest signs will be dispersed to audience members during parts of the show that feature Civil Rights Era historical protests. Hold them high!
  2. Jabari Dreams of Freedom contains depictions of things that happened during the Civil Rights Era and that are still happening today—racism, police violence, protests.
  3. An award-winning actress and playwright, Nambi E. Kelley was chosen by literary legend Toni Morrison to adapt her novel Jazz for the stage. She’s also the recipient of the Ben & Jerry’s Peacemaker of the Year Award for her work on Peace to the Fourth Power, a violence prevention play for young people.

About the Company

First Woman is named for the East African creation story from which playwright and founder Nambi E. Kelley’s first name comes, and the digital version of Jabari Dreams of Freedom was the inaugural production. Nambi E. Kelley first developed Jabari Dreams of Freedom at Chicago Children’s Theatre in 2016, then continued developing it during her time as a New Victory LabWorks Artist.

Creative Team

Nambi E. Kelley

Daniel Carlton

Music Director
Joe Plummer

Projections Designer
Leo Lei


Photo: Abboye Lawrence
Photo: Abboye Lawrence
Photo: Abboye Lawrence
Photo: Abboye Lawrence
Photo: Alexis Buatti-Ramos
Photo: Abboye Lawrence
Photo: Abboye Lawrence
Photo: Alexis Buatti-Ramos


Nambi E. Kelley and Daniel Carlton in conversation.
A play made for families! Discover what drove Nambi to write Jabari Dreams of Freedom for her nephew and how her dad influenced the playwriting process.
Watch Trailer
New Victory Arts Break: Get into Character

What do you stand for? Dress up and perform as your favorite historical heroes, and then dream up your own hero to tackle today's challenges.

Read Article