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Fat Ham Cast and Creatives Announcement

The Old Globe
announces the full cast and creative team of
the five-time 2023 Tony Award nominee and
2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama winner
Fat Ham
by James Ijames,
original direction by Saheem Ali,
directed by Sideeq Heard

Performances begin May 25 and run to June 23, 2024,
with the opening on Thursday, May 30

Tickets are NOW available at www.TheOldGlobe.org

PHOTO EDITORS: Photos of the Globe’s production of Fat Ham can be found here.

SAN DIEGO (April 17, 2024) The Old Globe is pleased to announce the full cast and creative team for the five-time Tony Award nominee and 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama winner Fat Ham by James Ijames (White, The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington) and original direction by Saheem Ali (Shakespeare in the Park’s Merry Wives, Berkeley Rep’s Goddess). Sideeq Heard (Geffen Playhouse’s Fat Ham, West Coast premiere; Here Is a Man) directs the five-week limited engagement, which begins performances May 25 and runs to June 23, 2024, with the official opening night on Thursday, May 30. Fat Ham plays on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Tickets are now on sale at www.TheOldGlobe.org.

The 2022 Pulitzer-winning, Tony-nominated sensation Fat Ham is a fresh and funny take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet that The New York Times called “a flat-out hilarious comedy.” During a Southern family cookout, Juicy is confronted by the ghost of his father, who demands revenge for his murder. But Juicy, a young, queer, Black man, has enough on his plate. James Ijames’s remarkable play uses uproarious humor and profound insight to explore the conflict between what you owe your family and what you owe yourself. “Smart, fearless, and wildly entertaining” (The Chicago Tribune).

“In a season of Pulitzer-winning writing, the Globe is thrilled to bring Fat Ham, the 2022 Prize winner for Drama, to our stage,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “James Ijames’s play is a wonder. It manages to be hilarious, over-the-top, super-smart, and quite touching, all in 90 minutes. Transplanting Hamlet to a backyard barbeque—‘There’s the rub,’ says the guy at the grill—the play delivers all of Shakespeare’s themes, but in a miracle, and unlike the Bard, it leaves us dancing. San Diego audiences have never seen anything like it, and I can’t wait to share it with them.”

The cast for Fat Ham features Felicia Boswell (Broadway’s Motown; Broadway and national tour of Memphis, Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Leading Actress) as Tedra, Yvettte Cason (Broadway’s Dreamgirls, original Broadway production; Broadway’s Play On!, original Broadway production) as Rabby, Ṣọla Fadiran (Broadway’s Camelot, Off Broadway’s Watch Night) as Juicy, m (Long Wharf Theatre’s Passing Strange, Collective Consciousness Theater’s The Mountaintop) as Opal, Xavier Pacheco (MCC Theater’s Bees & Honey; The Public Theater’s Richard III) as Tio, Tian Richards (CW’s “Tom Swift”; Netflix’s Dumplin’) as Larry, and Lance Coadie Williams (Broadway’s Kiss Me, Kate; Broadway’s Sweat) as Rev and Pap.

Understudies for Fat Ham include Ethan Henry as Rev and Pap, Madeline Grace Jones as Opal, April Nixon as Tedra and Rabby, and Duane Shabazz as Juicy, Tio, and Larry.

Also joining Ijames, Ali, and Heard as part of the creative team for the Globe’s production of Fat Ham are Darrell Grand Moultrie (Choreography), Maruti Evans (Scenic Design), Dominique Fawn Hill (Costume Design), Bradley King (Lighting Design), Mikaal Sulaiman (Sound Design), Skylar Fox (Illusion Design), Earon Chew Nealey (Wig, Hair, and Makeup Design), Lisa Kopitsky (Fight Director), Caparelliotis Casting (Casting), Ryan Kane (Production Stage Manager), and Sam Allen (Production Stage Manager).

James Ijames’s play Fat Ham made its world premiere as a digital production at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia in April 2021. In May 2022, the play, directed by Saheem Ali, opened Off Broadway at The Public Theater and received the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Fat Ham transferred to Broadway and debuted at the American Airlines Theatre in April 2023. The production received five 2023 Tony Award nominations, including Best Play.

Tickets for Fat Ham are available now and start at $33. Performances for the five-week limited engagement run May 25 – June 23, 2024, with the official press opening on Thursday, May 30 at 7:00 p.m. and will play on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center in San Diego’s Balboa Park (1363 Old Globe Way). The Vicki and Carl Zeiger Insights Seminar, scheduled for Tuesday, May 28 at 6:00 p.m., will provide patrons an exploration of the themes and background of Fat Ham from select artistic company members. Community Nights at The Old Globe will provide festive opportunities to connect over refreshments and conversation on Friday, May 31 at 6:30 p.m. (BIPOC Theatre Night) and Friday, June 7 at 6:30 p.m. (Queer Black Theatre Night). Post-Show Forum events will be held on Tuesday, June 4; Wednesday, June 12; and Wednesday, June 19 (evening performance). An open-caption performance will be held on Saturday, June 15 at 2:00 p.m. This production includes strong language, mature themes, sexual content, and mild violence. Visit www.TheOldGlobe.org for a full schedule and additional information.

Opening night post-show receptions for the cast and donors are held in Hattox Hall, located in the Karen and Donald Cohn Education Center, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center.

Fat Ham is supported by Lead Production Sponsor Terry Atkinson. Financial support of The Old Globe is provided by The City of San Diego. The Theodor and Audrey Geisel Fund provides leadership support for The Old Globe’s year-round activities.

Bios and photos of all participants can be found at www.TheOldGlobe.org/Press-Room.

The Tony Award–winning The Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional nonprofit regional theatres. Now in its 89th year, the Globe is San Diego’s flagship performing arts institution, and it serves a vibrant community with theatre as a public good. Under the leadership of Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and the Audrey S. Geisel Managing Director Timothy J. Shields, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 16 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages, including its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people annually attend Globe productions and participate in the theatre’s artistic and arts engagement programs. Its nationally prominent Arts Engagement Department provides an array of participatory programs that make theatre matter to more people in neighborhoods throughout the region. Humanities programs at the Globe and around the city broaden the community’s understanding of theatre art in all its forms. The Globe also boasts a range of new play development programs with professional and community-based writers, as well as the renowned The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. Numerous world premieres—such as 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bright Star, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! —have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.

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