Playwright


Photo by Gail Hadani

Photo by Gail Hadani

A lifelong theater fan, Keli's career as a playwright began when she submitted her first play "Redeemed" to the legendary Public Theater of New York. The story of what happens to the relationship of a homophobic pastor and his daughter when she decides to work on the campaign of an openly gay congressional candidate, “Redeemed,” earned Keli one of the Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group Fellowships.
 
During this two-year residency, she developed her second play, "The Black Friend," which explores the conflict that emerges when a young black woman discovers her lifelong friends are being sued for systemic racial discrimination against African Americans at their corporation. After enjoying two sold out staged readings during The Public Theater’s 2015 Spotlight Series, where it starred Tony nominee Condola Rashad, "The Black Friend" was selected for Labyrinth Theater's Up Next Series, which culminated in a staged reading in November 2016. Earlier that year "The Black Friend" was also designated a semi-finalist for The Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship and a finalist for the AracaWorks reading series.
 
In 2014 "Redeemed" was selected for a reading as part of the Genesis Festival of New Plays at Crossroads Theater. The following year it was selected as a finalist for The Premiere Stages Playwriting Festival, concluding in a reading where critically acclaimed actor Frankie Faison starred in the lead role. 
 
Keli is currently in development on two new plays.

Keli with actor Frankie Faison during the Premiere Stages reading of "Redeemed"

Keli with actor Frankie Faison during the Premiere Stages reading of "Redeemed"