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James Ijames

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James Ijames BIO

JAMES IJAMES is a Pulitzer Prize winning and Tony Award nominated playwright, a director and educator.

James’ 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.

James is the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist recipient, and two Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Direction of a Play for The Brothers Size with Simpatico Theatre Company and Gem of the Ocean with Arden Theatre. James is 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 ....Miz Martha, a 2017 recipient of the Whiting Award, a 2019 Kesselring Prize for Kill Move Paradise, a 2020 and 2022 Steinberg Prize, the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Drama recipient and a 2023 Tony nominee for Best Play for Fat Ham

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. He resides in South Philadelphia.

James Ijames Photos

James Ijames Awards and Nominations

The Barrymore Awards - 2012 - Outstanding supporting actor in a play

James IjamesAngels in America part one: Millennium Approaches

James Ijames Videos

James Ijames News

Review: FAT HAM at Circuit Playhouse

What did our critic think of FAT HAM at Circuit Playhouse?

FAT HAM Extends at The Huntington

 The Huntington has announced that their production Fat Ham will extend, now running through Sunday, October 29, 2023 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Find out how to get tickets to the new dates here!

FAT HAM, RIDE, and More Set For the Old Globe's 2024 Season

The Old Globe has announced its 2024 Season with a lineup of premieres and new adaptations. Learn more about the productions in the upcoming season here!

FAT HAM is Coming to The Huntington in September

Get ready for an electrifying performance of FAT HAM at The Huntington. Find out everything you need to know about this highly acclaimed play, including show dates and ticket information.

Mad Horse Theatre Reveals 38th Season

The 2023 - 2024 season at Mad Horse Theatre Company is filled with lively, provocative, plays. Learn more about the lineup here!

Cast Set For Premiere Stages' SELLING KABUL

Premiere Stages at Kean University will present the New Jersey Premiere of Sylvia Khoury’s Selling Kabul September 7-24 in Kean University’s Bauer Boucher Theatre Center (Vaughn Eames Hall, 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, N.J.). Directed by Taylor Reynolds, Selling Kabul will feature actors Atra Asdou, Anat Cogan, Afsheen Misaghi, and Zaven Ovian.

Studio Theatre Announces Diverse Directors Slate For 2023-2024 Season

Studio Theatre's next season will feature the talents of six accomplished and exciting directors, Elena Araoz, Taylor Reynolds, David Muse, Tom Story, Sivan Battat, and Psalmayene 24, who will bring unique and compelling perspectives to the stage.

Playhouse on the Square Presents The Regional Premiere of FAT HAM

Playhouse on the Square, in partnership with Circuit Playhouse, Inc. Super Sponsor Dr. Thomas Ratliff and Show Sponsor Karen McCarthy, presents Fat Ham by: James Ijames, running September 15th – October 8th.

FAT HAM Comes to the Circuit Playhouse in September

FAT HAM by James Ijames comes to The Circuit Playhouse in September. This marks the regional premiere of the play.

Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival Reveals Finalists & Judges; James Ijames Honorary Playwright

Presented by Concord Theatricals, The Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival (OOB), the nation's premier short play competition, has announced that James Ijames (Fat Ham) is this year's honorary Festival playwright.


oin Atlantic Theater Company's The Judith Champion MixFest as they showcase the best of traditional diaspora music. Immerse yourself in a vibrant celebration of cultural heritage and experience a melodic journey through the rich traditions of the diaspora. Don't miss this unifying event that brings together diverse musical talents on one stage.

Danny Burstein, Martyna Majok, Helen Park and More Join Dramatists Guild BroadwayCon Panels - Full Programming Set

Get exclusive access to Broadway legends Danny Burstein, Martyna Majok, Helen Park, and more as they share their insights and experiences in panels at BroadwayCon. Join in for an inside look at the world of theater and learn from the best in the industry.

Public Theater Lays Off 19 Percent of Staff

The Public Theater has laid off 19 percent of its staff as of Thursday, July 13. Learn more about what this means for the future of the theatre here.

Listen: Playwright James Ijames Talks 21st-Century Masculinity, Theater, and More on TIME's Person Of The Week Podcast

TIME has released the latest episode of its podcast Person of the Week, featuring a sit-down interview with Playwright James Ijames. He discusses everything from theater to his experience growing up in the South, to how his work explores 21st-century masculinity. 

TWELFTH NIGHT Filmed Live At The Wilma Theater to Stream This Summer

Digital theater trailblazer The Wilma Theater is offering a streaming version of its onstage production of TWELFTH NIGHT, available to view on demand through July 23.

Listen: Saheem Ali, Ato Blankson-Wood, Michael Stuhlbarg & More Take Part in Public Square 2.0 Podcast

PUBLIC SQUARE 2.0 features engaging conversations, video interviews, and performances from myriad Public Theater artists and staff as well as industry leaders. Listen to all 16 Season 2 episodes here!

Photos: See the Winners & Honorees at the 2023 Off Broadway Alliance Awards

See photos from the 2023 Off Broadway Alliance Awards.

Definition Theatre Reveals 2023 Amplify Festival Finalists

Definition Theatre has revealed the finalists of the Amplify Series Three New Play Commissioning Program. 

FAT HAM Enters Final Two Weeks of Performances on Broadway

The Pulitzer Prize-winning FAT HAM by James Ijames, directed by Saheem Ali will conclude its Broadway run at the American Airlines Theatre. Learn how to purchase tickets!

Photos: Broadway's Brightest Stars Hit the Red Carpet at the 2023 Tony Awards

We're taking you to the red carpet for a look at all of the stars (and what they're wearing) at the 2023 Tony Awards!


James Ijames has been nominated for several awards throughout his career. He was nominated for Outstanding Play at the Drama Desk Awards for his work on "Fat Ham." He also received a nomination for the John Gassner Award for New American Play at the Outer Critics Circle Awards for "Fat Ham." In addition, Ijames received a Special Citation at the Obie Awards for his contributions to "Fat Ham." He was also nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play at The Barrymore Awards for his performance in "Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches."

James Ijames has won several awards for his work in the theater industry. He received the John Gassner Award for New American Play from the Outer Critics Circle Awards for his play "Fat Ham." Additionally, he received a Special Citation from the Obie Awards for his work on "Fat Ham." Ijames also won the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play award from The Barrymore Awards for his performance in "Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches."

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