Hamlet, but with more barbeque and disco. Swapping a Danish castle for a North Carolina BBQ pit, Fat Ham remakes Shakespeare’s story of murder and revenge into what the New York Times calls “a hilarious yet profound tragedy smothered in comedy.” Juicy, a Black queer Southern kid, has a lot on his plate already when his father’s ghost shows up, demanding vengeance. As generations clash at the family’s backyard barbeque, Juicy must face the legacies of violence he’s been raised with and shape the man he wants to be in James Ijames’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play fresh from its Tony-nominated Broadway run.
Runtime: Approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes with no intermission
Read the program.
In the interest of welcoming people with a wide range of needs and life experiences, Studio offers a bit of information on what you will encounter in the play. Use this information as it is helpful to you.
Environment Warnings: This production of Fat Ham contains haze, flashing lights, loud music, and sudden loud noises
Please note late seating will be determined at the discretion of House Management.
Fat Ham is generously underwritten by Sari Hornstein.
James Ijames is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, director and educator. James’s plays have been produced on Broadway, off Broadway and across the country by theatres including Orbiter 3, The National Black Theatre, The Public Theater, and Steppenwolf Theatre. His awards and honors include the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist, the 2015 Pew Fellowship for Playwriting, the 2015 Terrence McNally New Play Award, the 2017 Whiting Award, the 2019 Kesselring Prize, the 2020 Steinberg Prize and the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Drama for Fat Ham. James was a founding member of Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first playwright producing collective.
Taylor Reynolds is an OBIE-award winning director based in New York, originally from Chicago. Select directing credits include Clyde's at Berkeley Repertory Theatre/Huntington Theatre, Tambo & Bones at Playwrights Horizons/Center Theatre Group, Man Cave at Page 73, The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (New York Times Critic's Pick), Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally at Baltimore Center Stage/Playwrights Realm, Plano at Clubbed Thumb (Drama Desk nomination for Best Director), and Think Before You Holla (creator/deviser). Taylor has also worked as a director and collaborator with companies including The Movement Theatre Company, Keen Company, Ojai Playwrights Conference, MCC Theater, New Georges, Manhattan Theatre Club, and The 24 Hour Plays. She is the 2021 LPTW Lucille Lortel Award recipient, a New Georges Affiliated Artist, a 2017-2018 Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellow, and a Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab alum. Taylor has a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. www.iamtaylorreynolds.com.
(As of August 2023)
Marquis D. Gibson (he/him) is an actor and writer based in New York City. He last worked at Studio as an understudy in Wig Out!. Credits include Fat Ham on Broadway and at The Public Theater, Toni Stone at the American Conservatory Theater, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Marin Shakespeare Company, The Christians and Sex with Strangers at The Hippodrome Theatre, Shakespeare in Love at Baltimore Center Stage and Cincinnati Playhouse, and The Piano Lesson at Cape Fear Regional Theatre. He received the 2015 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical for Black Nativity at Theater Alliance. He received a BA from Howard University.
Tanesha Gary (she/her) is a Chicago native who currently resides in New York. She is an actor, musician, and recording artist. Some of her theatre credits include Caroline, or Change on Broadway; Fat Ham at The Public Theater; Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill at The Human Race Theatre Company; Newsies at Maltz Jupiter Theatre; and To Kill a Mockingbird at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Television credits include Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC), Blue Bloods and Bull (CBS), and Bug Diaries (Lucas’ Mom; Prime Video). Film credits include Bamboozled, The Cycle, and Mr. Wonderful. On social media @tanesha_gary (Instagram and Twitter) @taneshagary (Facebook). Taneshagary.com
Greg Alverez Reid is an actor, voiceover artist, and producer who was previously seen at Studio in Seven Guitars. His Off Broadway credits include The Fabulous Miss Marie at New Federal Theatre. Regional credits include Sweat at Northern Stage, Blues for an Alabama Sky at Center Theater Group’s Mark Taper Forum, The Bluest Eye at Huntington Theatre Company, Detroit '67 at Signature Theatre, Fences at McCarter Theatre Center, All My Sons at People’s Light, Broke-ology at Theater Alliance, Gem of The Ocean at Hangar Theatre. TV/Film credits include Wu-Tang: An American Saga (Hulu), Between the World and Me (HBO / HBO MAX). His audio work includes the current rom-com series Un-Lesh for Love and Brokedown Prophets both on Audible. He is a graduate of Howard University and the British American Dramatic Academy at Oxford.
Gaelyn D. Smith is an actor, writer, producer, and content creator born and raised in Washington, D.C. Her theatre credits include Clyde’s at Studio Theatre; Drunk Shakespeare at the Sage Theatre; How Old is a Hero? at the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater; The Women of the Plums at the Howard Theatre; and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When The Rainbow Is Enuf, Good Kids, and The Women at Syracuse University. She can also be seen in Chasing Viral, a short film she wrote and produced during graduate school. When she is not on stage, she co-hosts and produces the No Sleep Till Hollywood podcast (available wherever you get your podcasts). She received her BFA in Acting and her MA in Television, Radio, and Film from Syracuse University. You can find her @gsmittyyyy (TikTok and Instagram) and @nosleeptillhollywood (Instagram). gaelyndsmith.com.
Matthew Elijah Webb is a Detroit-raised actor, writer, and creative who is making his Studio debut in Fat Ham. Theatre credits include Fat Ham on Broadway and Off Broadway at The Public Theater. He has developed new works with playwrights a.k. payne, Rudi Goblen, and Jeremy O. Harris. He holds his MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama. @matthewelijahwebb (Instagram).
Kelli Blackwell is an actor, art maker, teaching artist, and self-published author. Her theatre credits include Shout Sister Shout! at Ford's Theatre; Beauty and the Beast and A.D. 16 at Olney Theatre Center; Nine Night at Round House Theatre; Crowns and Thunder Knocking on the Door at Creative Cauldron; A Streetcar Named Desire and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark at Everyman Theatre; The Wiz, Smokey Joe's Cafe, and Next to Normal at ArtsCentric; Ain't Misbehavin', Dreamgirls, and Grease at Toby's Dinner Theatre; Hairspray at TriArts Sharon Playhouse; Once on This Island at Cortland Repertory Theatre; and the national tours of Chicago and Amazing Grace. Kelli serves on the executive leadership team with Baltimore-based theatre company, ArtsCentric. kellimblackwell.com.
Thomas Walter Booker (Tio) is an actor, writer, producer, and filmmaker born and raised here in the nation's capital of Washington, D.C. His Off Broadway credits include On Sugarland at New York Theatre Workshop; regional credits include One Night in Miami at City Theatre and Necessary Sacrifices at Ford’s Theatre. He has guest starred on episodes of FBI and Blue Bloods (CBS). His film credits include Becoming, TikTok Challenged, and Giles. He is an alum of Duke Ellington School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase’s Acting Conservatory. He is currently in production for his debut film entitled Absent. You can find out more at thomaswalterbooker.com and @thomaswalterbooker (Instagram).
Joshua T. Street (he/they) has worked professionally with several companies in the DC area, including Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Folger Shakespeare Library, Adventure Theatre, and Baltimore Center Stage. Past credits include Inherit the Wind, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Make Way for Ducklings, Jeffrey, A Civil War Christmas, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and he can currently be seen starring in the Sage Theatre’s Drunk Shakespeare. He can be found online @ j_streezy (instagram)
Suli Myrie is a DC-based actress and content creator making her debut with Studio Theatre. Recent credits include Ezra Pound Couldn’t Sleep Here, a participant in 2023’s Capital Fringe festival, and leading the cast as Maddyand as central character Lydia in Diagnosed at The Voxel in Baltimore, MD. Other credits include Veils The Musical at The Nate Holden Performing Arts Center (Los Angeles), portraying Josephine Baker and Angela Davis; and several runs as lead character Adrienne Taylor in Chocolate Covered Ants at THEARC and Anacostia Playhouse in Washington, DC. Suli earned her BFA at Howard University, studied abroad at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, and received on-camera training with Brenna McDonough. Her credits include various regional commercials, industrial videos, and independent films. You can follow her online at https://sulimyrie.com, @suli_myrie (Instagram), Suli Myrie (YouTube), Sulz Says (Facebook), and @SuliMyrie (Twitter/X)
Jamie Swann is an actress and author. Her theatre credits include Waldy Street! at New World Stages and Silver Spring Black Box, Rotten Apple at Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Minute Play Festival at Anacostia Playhouse, Barbershop Storybook at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and What Will It Take at Crossland Auditorium. Jamie can also be seen in television episodes of Veep and has been featured in other local productions and short films, including Differences Web Series, A Killer Conversation, and Coveted. On social media at @msjaymedee (Instagram). Jdswann.com.
Eli EL is making his understudy debut at Studio. His past work includes Radio Golf at Round House Theatre, The Great Society at Arena Stage, Welcome to Sis’s and VOICES at Joe’s Movement Emporium, Boxes at Flashpoint, Colorblind: The Katrina Monologues at Anacostia Playhouse, and A Matter of Perspective at Live Garra Theatre/Silver Spring Black Box Theatre. He has completed and is currently involved with several independent film projects, including Once Upon A Time in the District, Unarmed Man, Harriet, The Meek, Last Night, Canned Hunt, THICK…) Eli directed (The Healing Floor) DCBTF award winner. He also directed a feature film and two shorts (The Cracked Mask and Lay Me Down) ELI EL on Facebook
Tymetrias L. Bolden (she/her) is an actor, writer, teaching artist and creator born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. Fat Ham is her first professional production. Her theater credits include A Raisin in the Sun and She Kills Monsters with the Howard Players at Howard University. Her short film credits include Permanence, a short film with Howard University Film Organization’s afrosurreal anthology series Where Everybody At?, and Envision Us On Fire, a short film with Howard’s MFA film program. She recently attended Midsummer in Oxford at Magdalen College, Oxford University through the British American Drama Academy (BADA). Tymetrias is a current senior at Howard University Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts majoring in Theatre Arts: Acting. On social media @tymetriaslenora (Instagram).
Arielle Moore (she/her) is an actor from Philadelphia making her Studio Theatre debut. Her theater credits include the world premiere production of The Chameleon at Theater J; and workshops of: Kin at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Adia and Clora Snatch Joy at Round House Theatre, and Elbow at Spooky Action Theater. Her educational credits include The Sins of Sor Juana, The Winter’s Tale, The Women, and Shared Space at American University, where she received a B.A. in Performing Arts. On social media @itgirlarielle (Instagram). ariellermoore.com
Jordan Essex is a DC based artist. His recent credits include The Honey Trap at Solas Nua, The Very Hungry Caterpillar at Imagination Stage, Passing Strange at Signature Theatre, The Tempest at Round House Theatre, Once on This Island at Constellation Theatre Company, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Folger Theatre, Love Like Tuesday at Faction of Fools, The Toxic Avenger at Rorschach Theatre, and Little Shop of Horrors at ArtsCentric. He also toured with Olney Theatre Center’s National Players 72nd tour performing A Raisin in the Sun and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has a B.M. in Musical Theatre from Catholic University. On social media @jc.essex (Instagram).
Jean Kim trained as an Illustrator/painter at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and as a Set Designer at Yale School of Drama (YSD). Jean is a New York-based designer from South Korea. Through various mediums, she’s always eager to explore her caliber in the realm of tales. To see more of her design work or illustrations please visit, www.jeankimstudio.com.
Danielle Preston is a costume designer based in Washington, D.C. Previous Studio Theatre credits include Clyde’s and P.Y.G. or the Mis-Edumcation of Dorian Belle. Recent regional credits include Blues for an Alabama Sky at Barrington Stage Company, Passing Strange at Signature Theatre, A Nice Indian Boy at Olney Theatre Center, Locomotion at Children’s Theatre Company, School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play and The REALNESS at the Hangar Theatre, and Quamino’s Map at Chicago Opera Theater. Danielle received the 2022 OPERA America Tobin Director-Designer Prize, William R. Kenan Jr. Fellowship in Costume Design with The Kennedy Center, and the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute Fellowship in Costume Design. She holds an MFA in Costume Design from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local 829. On social media @danielleprestondesign (Instagram) daniellepreston.com
Minjoo Kim is an internationally working lighting designer whose work was last seen at Studio in English. Select D.C. credits include Ink at Round House Theatre, King of the Yees at Signature Theatre, The Brothers Paranormal at Olney Theatre Center, and Rainmaker at 1st Stage. Regional credits include Demon at The Bushwick Starr, American Fast at City Theatre Company, The Chief at Pittsburgh Public Theater, The Royale at KCRep, A Few Good Men at Bristol Riverside Theatre, Violet at TheatreSquared, Life Sucks at Cygnet Theatre, One in Two at Diversionary Theatre. International credits include The Two at The Space Owul, Crimson Girl at Dongsoong Art Center, and Die or Not at Seoul Art Space in South Korea and Mask on/off at Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre in Mullae, China. Her work The Royale was selected for the National Exhibit at Prague Quadrennial in 2023. minjoo-design.com
Sinan Refik Zafar (he/him) was the sound designer for the Broadway and national touring production of What the Constitution Means to Me. Off Broadway, he has worked with MCC Theater, Second Stage, The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Atlantic Theater Company, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Clubbed Thumb, Rattlestick Theater, and The Movement Theatre Company. Work with Regional theatres include The Kennedy Center, Guthrie Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and more. sinanzafar.com
Deb Thomas was the Props Director at Studio Theatre from 2009 to 2019. Studio credits include set design for Terminus, assistant set design for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and props design for Heroes of the Fourth Turning, John Proctor is the Villain, and Pass Over, among others. Additional credits include Monumental Travesties, Bars and Measures, The Till Trilogy, Marys Seacole, Birds of North America, Eureka Day, and Milk Like Sugar at Mosaic Theater Company; and The Tale of The Allergist’s Wife and Freud’s Last Session at Theater J. She was a sculptor and sculpture consultant for TLC’s DC Cupcakes, a set designer for the Washington Bureau of TV Tokyo, and did the original set design for Discovery Channel’s Puppy Bowl. In addition to working for all national networks, her work includes production design for Dolley Madison, art direction for Alexander Hamilton (both PBS American Experience), and set design for Discovery Channel’s Moments in History, “Jamestown: Against All Odds.”
Ryan Phillips is a magician, actor, and magic consultant serving the DC area. Ryan is making his Studio Theatre debut as the illusion consultant for Fat Ham. DC credits include magic coordinator and Ariel understudy for The Tempest, magic coordinator for The Mountaintop, effects consultant for the world premiere of it’s not a trip it’s a journey at Round House Theatre, and magic consultant for The Consul at Washington National Opera. Ryan is a perennial performer at DC’s Capital Pride Festival and is also the Resident Magician at The Mayflower Hotel, performing weekly public shows in The Magic Duel. He is a proud member of The International Brotherhood of Magicians.
Gerrad Alex Taylor (he/him) is an award-winning director and actor based out of the greater Baltimore region. In 2021, he was named one of Baltimore's "40 Under 40" by the Washington Business Journal. Gerrad leads Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's Black Classical Acting Ensemble and serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He holds a BA in Neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has worked with theatres and educational institutions across the country including Great River Shakespeare Festival, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, PCPA Pacific Conservatory Theatre, North Carolina A&T, Everyman Theatre, Constellation Theatre Company, Mosaic Theater Company, Arena Stage, and Washington Stage Guild. He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and Society of American Fight Directors.
Tony Thomas (he/him) is an award-nominated director, choreographer, and interior architect. His credits include Good Bones; People, Places & Things; White Noise; Pass Over; FLOW; and P.Y.G. or the Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle at Studio, Out of the Vineyard at Joe’s Movement Emporium, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience and P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical at Imagination Stage, The Freewheelin’ Insurgents at Arena Stage, and Native Son at Mosaic Theater Company, as well as Mysticism & Music and The Last Five Years at Constellation Theatre Company. Tony is also active in pre-professional education and private professional level artist coaching and technique. In education, Tony has worked with Strathmore Children’s Chorus, Levine Music Theatre Productions, and Holton-Arms School, and actively leads numerous workshops and coaching circuits between New York, DC, and Los Angeles. Tony Thomas Designs was developed in 2004, featuring Tio Diaz Studio as a premiere design house in residential and commercial design.
Dane Figueroa Edidi returns to Studio after performing her sold-out cabaret Werk! A Cabaret Celebrating Black Women. Dubbed the Ancient Jazz Priestess of Mother Africa, Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi is a Black Nigerian, Cuban, Indigenous, American performance artist, author, advocate, producer, filmmaker, and dramaturg. She is a Helen Hayes Award-winning playwright for Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem, a Helen Merrill Award recipient, a three-time Helen Hayes Award-nominated choreographer, and a Princess Grace Honoria Award winner. She is the curator and associate producer of Long Wharf Theatre’s Black Trans Women At The Center: An Evening of Short Plays as well as an artistic ensemble member of the theatre. She has done intimacy choreography for The High Ground and Holiday at Arena Stage, it’s not a trip it’s a journey at Round House Theatre, and This Bitter Earth at Theater Alliance. She is featured in the web series King Ester, i need space, and stars in Untitled Mockumentary Project.
Adrien-Alice Hansel (she/her) is the Literary Director at Studio, where she has dramaturged the world premieres of Good Bones, John Proctor is the Villain, I Hate it Here, Queen of Basel, No Sisters, I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart, Red Speedo, Dirt, Lungs, and The History of Kisses, among others, as well as productions of English, Heroes of the Fourth Turning, The Hot Wing King, Flow, Until the Flood, 2.5 Minute Ride, Translations, Curve of Departure, Wig Out!, Straight White Men, Hedda Gabler, Jumpers for Goalposts, Bad Jews (twice), The Apple Family Cycle, Invisible Man, Sucker Punch, The Golden Dragon, and The New Electric Ballroom, among others. Prior to joining Studio, she spent eight seasons at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she headed the literary department and coordinated project scouting, selection, and development for the Humana Festival of New American Plays. She is the co-editor of eight anthologies of plays from Actors Theatre and editor of 12 editions of plays through Studio. Adrien-Alice holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.
Lauren Pekel (she/her) returns to Studio Theatre after last working on Fun Home. Some of her favorite Studio credits include Good Bones; People, Places & Things; Doubt; Cry It Out; Vietgone; P.Y.G. or the Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle; Skeleton Crew; The Father; and No Sisters. Her other D.C. theatre credits include productions with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Theater J, Mosaic Theater Company, Theater Alliance, and The Kennedy Center. Regionally, she has worked with the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, and Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee among others. Lauren is an alumna of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Theatre Program with a BFA in Stage Management and is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.
McCorkle Casting continues to strive for inclusivity and social awareness during its 35 year history in casting and is pleased to be associated with this production. Broadway: Over 50 productions including, On The Town, Amazing Grace, End of the Rainbow, A Few Good Men, etc. Off Broadway: Over 60 productions: Highlights; Tribes, Our Town, Driving Miss Daisy. Regional Theatre: Guthrie, Barrington Stage, George Street Playhouse, CATF and hundreds of regional theatres throughout the country. Feature films: Currently casting six films for theatrical release. Previous project highlights: Premium Rush, Ghost Town, The Thomas Crown Affair, Die Hard with a Vengeance, etc. Television: three new films for Hallmark, Twisted, Sesame Street, Californication (Emmy Nomination), Chappelle’s Show, Strangers with Candy, etc. mccorklecasting.com
A Note from the Dramaturg, Adrien-Alice Hansel
A Kind of Hamlet: Parallels Between Hamlet and Fat Ham
James Ijames Bio
James Ijames on Fat Ham