“Fat Ham,” James IJames modern take on “Hamlet,” has won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.
Finalists were “Selling Kabul” by Sylvia Khoury, and “Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Owner” (number 4 in my favorite plays of the year)
“Fat Ham” is set to begin performances this month at the Public Theater. It debuted as a digital theater production last year by the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, a theater for which IJames serves as co-artistic director.
A description: “Juicy is a queer, Southern 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. It feels like a familiar story to Juicy, well-versed in Hamlet’s woes. What’s different is Juicy himself, a sensitive and self-aware young Black man trying to break the cycles of trauma and violence in service of his own liberation”
Here’s a link to James James’ website with a list of his plays
The Pulitzer board on Fat Ham: “A funny, poignant play that deftly transposes “Hamlet” to a family barbecue in the American South to grapple with questions of identity, kinship, responsibility, and honesty.”
On “Kristina Wong Sweatshop Overlord”: “A humorous and moving performance piece detailing how the author became the founder of a homemade face mask operation in the early months of the COVID epidemic, reflecting on the significance of women of color performing an historically gendered and racialized form of labor at a time of rising anti-Asian bigotry.”
On “Selling Kabul”: “A riveting portrait of an Afghan family under extreme wartime duress that explores the agonizing personal choices and human costs of those who aided the effort in Afghanistan at their own peril.”
Check out New York Theater Awards 2022 Calendar and Guide