James Ijames

2015 PEW FELLOW
Updated
30 Nov 2016

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James Ijames, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.

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James Ijames, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
 

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Production photo of James Ijames’ The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington at Flashpoint Theatre Company, 2014. Photo by Ian Paul Guzzone.

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Production photo of James Ijames’ The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington at Flashpoint Theatre Company, 2014. Photo by Ian Paul Guzzone.

"I write about the America I see, and the America I want to see."

James Ijames' (b. 1981) plays and devised works examine how class and gender intersect with race, often drawing inspiration from historical texts, the media, and stories of his own family. His work deconstructs history and its established figures, as well as narrative itself, challenging the conventions of realism and received collective truth. A founder of the Orbiter 3 playwright collective, established in 2014 to foster sustainable modes of new play development, his work is defined by empathy and social engagement. Currently, Ijames is developing an adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, investigating the wealth gap, minimum wage, and gender parity through hands-on research at a local fast food restaurant. A 2010 Independence Foundation Fellow, Ijames is also the recipient of the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist, and three Barrymore Awards for acting and direction. Upcoming and recent plays include WHITE (in development with InterAct Core Writers Group), Moon Man Walk (Orbiter 3), and The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington (Flashpoint Theatre Company). He has been commissioned by the National Constitution Center and the Arden Theatre Company, and is currently Assistant Professor of Theatre at Villanova University.