Kelli Simpkins (she/they) is a theater, film, and television artist whose career has spanned thirty years. They are dedicated to telling stories often excluded from the mainstream that focus on class, queerness, disenfranchisement, and ‘the other.’ They are a company member of Tectonic Theater Project and are one of the original creators/dramaturges/performers of The Laramie Project. Kelli appears in the HBO film of the same name, for which she and fellow company members share a Humanitas Prize and an Emmy nomination.
Kelli co-wrote, directed, and devised an original play for Western Michigan University called Good Death, which was performed at the Kennedy Center’s Region III American College Theatre Festival. After living and working in New York, Kelli relocated to Chicago, where they’ve performed at Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, American Theater Company, Timeline Theater, Victory Gardens Theatre, and About Face Theater, where they are also an artistic associate. They have simultaneously spent numerous years developing, collaborating on, and performing award-winning, socially-engaged, interview-based documentary projects, including The People’s Temple and Spill.
Kelli’s TV and film credits include Work in Progress, Rounding, 100 Days to Live, Slice, Proven Innocent, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, Patriot, Betrayal, A League of Their Own, Law & Order: C.I., and Chasing Amy. Kelli is a contributing writer to the book MOMENT WORK—Tectonic Theater Project’s Process of Devising Theater. She is also a teaching artist and educator who has led training labs throughout the country. She is a proud recipient of the 2013 3Arts Award. Kelli is represented by Gray Talent Group and managed by Jodi Schoenbrun Carter at 1022m Management.
- "Everybody" Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington DC
- "The Lady from the Sea" Court Theatre, Chicago
- "Charm" MCC, New York City
- "Spill" Timeline Theatre Company, Chicago & Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York
- "Cocked" Victory Gardens Theatre, Chicago
- "We're Gonna Be Ok" American Theatre Company, Chicago
- "The Gulf" About Face Theatre, Chicago
- "Bull in a China Shop" About Face Theatre, Chicago
- "T" American Theatre Company, Chicago
- "The Secretaries" About Face Theatre, Chicago
- "The Kid Thing" Chicago Dramatists & About Face Theatre, Chicago
- "Pony" About Face Theatre, Chicago
- Still from "A League of Their Own"
Kelli Simpkins has crowd-funded a project with 3AP
- $17,276 raised of $5,000 goal
- 0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
- 3Arts matched
- 346% funded
I am fundraising to launch the first phase of Queer In(n)—a curated, generative online gallery inspired by interviews with Chicago LGBTQIA+ and/or gender and sexually diverse youth/elders and their advocates. As a theater artist, much of my career has …Read more about Queer In(n)