Fat Ham, a twist on Hamlet, wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama!
New York, New York - Days before James Ijames' Fat Ham makes its off-Broadway debut at the Public Theater, the play was awarded the prestigious 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama!
The award honoring an exceptional American play staged over the past year was announced Monday by the Columbia University-based organization that has celebrated excellence in journalism and the arts since 1917.
Fat Ham, which had its world premiere as a streaming production via Philadelphia’s Wilma Theater, is a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet with a queer Black college student named Juicy as its protagonist.
The two other finalists were Sylvia Khoury’s Selling Kabul and the solo show Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord by Kristina Wong.
"I’m quite overwhelmed and so honored to be selected for this year’s Pulitzer Prize in Drama," Ijames (41) told the New York Daily News on Monday. "I’m humbled to be in the company of so many writers I’ve studied and admired. This play is a love letter to where I come from and the people who raised me and still love and support me!"
Pulitzer Prize Administrator Marjorie Miller described the play as "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."
Fat Ham, directed by Saheem Ali and starring Marcel Spears (of The Neighborhood fame), is set to begin performances May 12 at The Public Theater in collaboration with National Black Theatre.
Free tickets for the Thursday performance are being offered through The Public’s Joseph Papp Free Performance initiative on the TodayTix app.
Cover photo: Collage: Rodin Eckenroth / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP & screenshot/Instagram/James Ijames