Adapted for the stage by Idris Goodwin
Directed by Khalia Davis

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” Copyright © 1969 by Maya Angelou,
Copyright renewed © 1997 by Maya Angelou
Used with permission of Caged Bird Legacy, LLC

Theatre Four
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Maya Angelou’s Why the Caged Bird Sings

NYCCT’s adaptation of Maya Angelou’s celebrated autobiography.
 On a rainy day in Stamps, Arkansas, Maya Angelou has returned to the now-abandoned general store where she grew up and came of age. While inside, the room conjures memories, and she reminisces out loud the events and lessons learned on her tumultuous, painful, beautiful, and extraordinary journey into womanhood.

Adapted by award-winning playwright Idris Goodwin and directed by Khalia Davis, Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings weaves unaltered prose directly from Angelou’s groundbreaking and controversial book and introduces a new generation to this American literary icon.


NYCCT is proud to present sensory friendly performances on Friday, June 3rd at 7pm and on Saturday, June 4th at 2pm. Sensory Friendly performances are designed to create a welcoming environment for all families with children on the autism spectrum and related conditions.

Some examples of changes include the house lights staying on at a low level, lowering of the sound levels, and audience members may verbalize throughout the performance. For more information, email


To purchase tickets please visit the New York City Children’s Theater Website.
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Content Warning

Material may be inappropriate for ages 16 and under.

New York City Children’s Theater is proud to present Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Birds Sings. As a theater, we believe that Ms. Angelou’s story belongs onstage, a story of resilience and one woman’s journey to find her voice.

To truthfully present Ms. Angelou’s work to the fullest, we have chosen to address material and thematic elements we have not in the past. To best serve our community, we have partnered with mental health professionals to determine the following content warning:

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings contains material that may be harmful or triggering to some audiences. The performance contains verbalized child sexual violence, verbalized sexual violence, racism and racist slurs, and violent imagery, which may be activating to some viewers and is inappropriate for young children. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.

If you’d like to speak to a member of the NYCCT team to find out more about the specifics of these scenes before you purchase tickets, click here or email


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