Suffocating in rat-infested poverty on the South Side of Chicago in the 1930s, 20-year-old Bigger Thomas struggles to find a place for himself in a world whose prejudice has shut him out. After taking a job in a wealthy white man's house, Bigger unwittingly unleashes a series of events that violently and irrevocably seal his fate. Adapted with theatrical ingenuity by Chicago's own Nambi E. Kelley, this Native Son captures the power of Richard Wright's novel for a whole new generation.
“4 out of 4 stars. You never doubt the truth … you are seeing in this gutsy, powerful, relentless, profoundly disturbing piece of Chicago theater.” - Chicago Tribune, Read More
"Stirring ... strong, serious stuff, just as it should be." - Wall Street Journal, Read More
"5 out of 5 stars. Playwright Nambi E. Kelley’s achievement is impressive not only for successfully dramatizing the tale of Bigger Thomas and his seemingly inevitable succumbing to systemic racism and poverty on the South Side, but for doing so by not being slavish to her source." - Time Out Chicago, Read More
"Unflinching in its honesty and searing in its passion, Native Son is not only a Grade-A example of literary adaptation, but also a play that truly speaks to our times and the ever-troubled American spirit that defines them." - Chicago Theatre Review, Read More
Check out these photos of the co-production between The Court Theatre and American Blues Theatre of Native Son in September 2014.