Cast and Creative Team Set For FAT HAM at Seattle Rep

Performances run April 12 – May 12, 2024.

By: Mar. 15, 2024
Cast and Creative Team Set For FAT HAM at Seattle Rep
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Seattle Rep has announced the cast and creative team for their upcoming production of Fat Ham, a reimagining of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet set at a Southern Black family cookout.

Playwright James Ijames brings a new perspective to a classic story with themes of identity, queerness, generational trauma, and what it means to stay soft in a hard world.

Fat Ham’s story is centered around Juicy (played by actor Taj E.M. Burroughs), a young queer Black man. His mother just married his uncle after the untimely death of his father, whose ghost appears at a family barbecue demanding that Juicy avenge his murder. Sound familiar? This Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy is a sparkling and uproarious new play about seeking love and liberation. 

Of this production, Artistic Director Dámaso Rodríguez said, “With this production of Fat Ham, we’re building on our 60-year history of producing distinct interpretations of the best new American plays with local flair, and I cannot wait for audiences to experience this hilarious and exuberant comedy.”

Fat Ham is one of the most buzzed-about new American plays in decades with a transfer to Broadway, a Tony nomination for Best Play, and the honor of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Now this remarkable show touches down at the Seattle Rep, in a brand-new Seattle-made production built by their expert shops and featuring a cast of predominantly local actors and directed by beloved Seattle theater maker Timothy McCuen Piggee, who has previously directed A Raisin in the Sun (2016) and As You Like It (2019) at Seattle Rep.

“It is important to the team and I that the representation of Black joy—and specifically queer Black joy—should be palpable throughout this performance,” said director Timothy McCuen Piggee. “There is the mundane in Fat Ham, but there’s also the extraordinary, and people who live in our community should know that Black joy can spring out of nowhere. Then it can turn to something else, and then when least expected, it can spring forth again.”

Fat Ham plays in Seattle Rep’s Bagley Wright Theater April 12 – May 12, 2024. Single tickets are on sale now online at SeattleRep.org or by calling the Patron Services Office at 206.443.2222. 

Throughout the run of this show, Seattle Rep will host a series of events including a post-show actor talk, an ASL Interpretation and Audio Described performance, and a Teen Night in partnership with TeenTix, during which teens can purchase $5 tickets to experience the show. For more information about this play and the engagement programs associated with it, visit SeattleRep.org.

ABOUT THE CAST

The cast features Taj E.M. Burroughs (The Globe Theatre: The Tragedy of Antony & Cleopatra) as Juicy; Reginald André Jackson (Seattle Rep: Last of the Boys) as Rev/Pap; Aishé Keita (Guthrie Theater and Seattle Rep: Familiar) as Opal; Felicia V. Loud (Seattle Rep: Pullman Porter Blues) as Rabby; Semaj Miller (Oregon Shakespeare Festival: The Three Musketeers) as Larry; Chip Sherman(Book-It Repertory Theatre: The Picture of Dorian Gray) as Tio; and Dedra D. Woods (Taproot Theatre: The Last Drive to Dodge) as Tedra. 

Understudies to all performances of Fat Ham are Jasmine Lomax (Burien Actors Theatre: Trouble in Mind); Richard Peacock (5th Avenue Theatre: White Christmas); and Arlando Smith (ACT Contemporary Theatre: A Christmas Carol)

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM

The creative team for Fat Ham includes Timothy McCuen Piggee (Director); Jimmy Shields(Choreographer); Caite Hevner (Scenic Design); Ricky German (Costume); Robert J. Aguilar (Lighting Design); Phil Johnson (Sound Design); Earon Chew Nealey (Wig/Hair Design); Geoffrey Alm (Fight Director); Jasmine Lomax (Intimacy Consultant); Aaron M. Davis Norman (Singing Coach); Yusef Seevers (Dialect/Vocal Coach); Amy Thone (Dramaturg); Amaya Zhané (Assistant Director); Stina Lotti (Stage Manager); and Shaina Pierce (Assistant Stage Manager).

ABOUT James Ijames (PLAYWRIGHT)

James Ijames is a Pulitzer Prize-winning, Tony Award-nominated, and multi-regional award-winning playwright, director, and educator. Produced and developed at theaters across the country, including Wilma Theater (current Co-Artistic Director), The National Black Theatre, The Public Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, and many more. Plays include WHITE, …Miz Martha, and Fat Ham, among others. Founding member of Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first playwright producing collective. B.A. Drama, Morehouse College; M.F.A. Acting, Temple University. Associate Professor of Theatre at Villanova University.

ABOUT Timothy McCuen Piggee (DIRECTOR)

A Seattle-based actor, director and educator, Timothy was last seen at Seattle Rep portraying film producer David Brown in Bruce. Previous directing credits at Seattle Rep include A Raisin in the Sun and the Public Works production of As You Like It. Other recent projects include Hello, Dolly!, Hairspray, and next season’s 2025 production of The Color Purple at Village Theatre, and A Raisin in the Sun at Pittsburgh Public Theater, among others. He is a recipient of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship, the Gregory Falls Sustained Achievement Award, and 3 Gregory Awards, among other honors. He is currently a professor of theater at Cornish College of the Arts. 




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