© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Roasted to perfection: "Fat Ham" by James Ijames opens on Broadway

James IJames headshot by Justin DeWalt
Polk and Co PR
James IJames headshot by Justin DeWalt

James Ijames is a playwright, director, and educator. His play “Fat Ham” opened at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway last night. Ijames won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Drama for the work which is inspired by Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" but transfers the action to a family barbecue in the American South.

The main character, Juicy, is a queer college kid, already grappling with some serious questions of identity, when the ghost of his father shows up in their backyard, demanding that Juicy avenge his murder.

“Fat Ham,” a New York Times Critics Pick, is directed by Saheem Ali and is presented by The Public Theatre and National Black Theatre.

Ijames' plays have been produced by Flashpoint Theater Company, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon, Wilma Theatre, Theatre Exile, Azuka Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), The National Black Theatre, JACK, The Public Theater (NYC), Hudson Valley Shakespeare Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Definition Theatre, Timeline Theater (Chicago IL) Shotgun Players (Berkeley, CA) and have received development with PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark, Playwright's Horizon, Clubbed Thumb, Villanova Theater, Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre and Victory Garden.

In addition to the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, Ijames' honors include the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist; two Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Direction of a Play; a 2015 Pew Fellow for Playwriting; the 2015 winner of the Terrance McNally New Play Award for "WHITE;" the 2015 Kesselring Honorable Mention Prize winner for "The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington;" a 2017 Whiting Award; a 2019 Kesselring Prize for "Kill Move Paradise;" and 2020 and 2022 Steinberg Prizes.

James was a founding member of Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first playwright producing collective. He received a B.A. in Drama from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and a M.F.A. in Acting from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. James an Associate Professor of Theatre at Villanova University and a Co-Artistic director at the Wilma Theatre.

Stay Connected
Sarah has been a public radio producer for over fifteen years. She grew up in Saranac Lake, New York where she worked part-time at Pendragon Theatre all through high school and college. She graduated from UAlbany in 2006 with a BA in English and started at WAMC a few weeks later as a part-time board-op in the control room. Through a series of offered and seized opportunities she is now the Senior Contributing Producer of The Roundtable and Producer of The Book Show. During the main thrust of the Covid-19 pandemic shut-down, Sarah hosted a live Instagram interview program "A Face for Radio Video Series." On it, Sarah spoke with actors, musicians, comedians, and artists about the creative activities they were accomplishing and/or missing.
Related Content
  • “Drinking in America,” written by three-time Obie Award winner Eric Bogosian and starring Andre Royo opened this past Sunday night at Audible’s Minetta Lane Theatre in New York City. The show, which was directed by Mark Armstrong, will also be recorded and released on Audible at a later date, extending its reach to millions of listeners around the world. Performances of the four-week limited engagement of “Drinking in America” began on March 10 and the show runs off-Broadway through April 14.
  • “Life of Pi,” directed by Max Webster with puppetry design by Finn Caldwell and Nick Barnes, won five Olivier Awards for its West End production, including Best New Play. The show opened at The Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway last night. Lolita Chakrabarti OBE is an actress and an award-winning playwright. Her’s was the mind challenged with writing “Life of Pi” as a theater piece.
  • The new musical “Some Like it Hot” - based on the 1959 MGM classic directed and co-written by Billy Wilder and starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Marilyn Monroe - is steaming up the stage at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre in New York City. Actor Kevin Del Aguila joins us.
  • Photographer Larry Sultan began taking photos of his parents beginning in the early 1980s and he spent a decade interviewing, and writing about his parents and his relationship with them. He published a photo memoir in 1992 entitled “Pictures from Home.”. Before it was a book, it was an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City - and now, it’s a Broadway show. Adapted for the stage by Sharr White and directed by Bart Sher, “Pictures from Home” is running through April 30 at Studio 54.