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What's Going On?

Next up, Jelani will be making his MPAACT debut starring in Shepsu Aakhu's new play, Spoken Word. The production runs January 17, 2020 - March 1, 2020 at Greenhouse Theatre.

Jelani traveled up to the Twin Cities to perform as George Gibbs in Our Town with Artistry Theatre. The production ran September 6th - September 29th. 

Star Tribune article about the production.

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Jelani was recently seen in Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre's production of The Mountaintop by: Katori Hall, in the role of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Chicago Tribune article about the production.

Jelani proudly understudied Pika/Francis in TimeLine Theatre Company's Jeff Recommended play, Cardboard Piano by: Hansol Jung, performing the full final week of the run.


Jelani performed as John in a Staged Reading of The Whipping Man by: Matthew Lopez at Noyes Cultural Arts Center.

Chicago's Black Theatre Alliance awarded Jelani "Best Actor in an Ensemble" for his work as Booth in Topdog/Underdog by: Suzan-Lori Parks, with Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre in 2018!


Jelani spent all of October traveling around Maine as Edgar in Theatre at Monmouth's touring production of King Lear by: William Shakespeare.

A personal dream role of Jelani's, he was ecstatic to portray Booth in Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre's acclaimed production of Topdog/Underdog by: Suzan-Lori Parks. 


Working on new plays is always a treat, and Jelani had the honor of performing in Piven Theatre Workshop's production of A Home on the Lake by: Stephen Fedo and Tim Rhoze, as Isaac/Adrian.

Jelani traveled back to Ithaca, NY to perform in a remount production of Civic Ensemble's acclaimed My Children! My Africa! by: Athol Fugard, as Thami Mbikwana.


Jelani's first play since moving to Chicago. His work as George in Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre's Sweet by: Harrison David Rivers, earned him two Black Theatre Alliance Award nominations for "Best Actor in an Ensemble" and "Most Promising Actor" in 2017.

Jelani appeared in the Sketch Comedy Show, Try This at Home, that performed at The Second City's: Donny's Skybox Theatre.


Jelani graduated from Ithaca College in 2016, with a BFA in Acting. 

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