The 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama has been awarded to playwright James Ijames’s Hamlet adaptation, Fat Ham. Last year, Fat Ham debuted at the Wilma Theater on Philadelphia’s bustling Broad street, and the production was filmed. However, Fat Ham is currently playing live Off Broadway at the Public Theater through June 12, 2022. And the National Black Theatre is co-producing the play. The finalists also in consideration for the prize were Selling Kabul by Sylvia Khoury and Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord by Kristina Wong, according to Deadline.
The Public’s Take on Fat Ham
The Public Theater describes Ijames’s drama as, “a delectable comic tragedy.” Fat Ham tells the story of Juicy, “a queer, Southern college kid, already grappling with some serious questions of identity,” who gets a visit from his late father. The ghost, who appears in Juicy’s backyard, goes on to demand that his son avenge his murder.
Furthermore, the Public goes on to say, “[i]t 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.”
Jam To Fat Ham
The Public’s description of the story is quite compelling. If you want to feel the vibe of the production, you’ll have to open your ears. More specifically, you have to listen to the playlist James Ijames and director Saheem Ali curated.
Available on the Public Theater’s website and Spotify, the playlist seems like a vibe in or out of the play’s context. The playlist features Montero (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X, a few Ari Lennox moments, “Creep” by Radiohead, at least one Beyoncé and Jay-Z collab, and Emily King’s “No More Room”, among others. This eclectic mix promises a production worthy of a Pulitzer.
Check It Out
To find the link to the Fat Ham playlist if you can’t make it to New York by June (or to buy tickets), visit the Public’s website.