Originally staged Off-Broadway at the Public in a co-production with National Black Theater, the production made its Broadway debut at the American Airlines Theatre this season, opening a 14-week limited engagement April 12 (read reviews here). The reinvention of the Shakespeare classic moves the action to a modern day Southern cookout, where queer college kid Juicy is grappling with identity questions, the ghost of his father, and a supernatural demand for vengeance.
Saheem Ali helmed the Off-Broadway and Broadway runs, and will return to stage the West Coast premiere as well, alongside associate director Sideeq Heard. The production, which was expanded for the Broadway bow, also features scenic design by Maruti Evans, costume design by Dominique Fawn Hill, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Mikaal Sulaiman, choreography by Darrell Grand Moultrie, hair and wig design by Earon Chew Nealey, and illusions design by Skylar Fox. It is unclear if Ali's complete creative team will stay on for the California run, and casting is to be announced. Geffen is presenting Fat Ham in association with No Guarantees, Public Theater Productions, and Rashad V. Chambers.
Fat Ham is part of the Geffen's newly announced 2023-2024 season, which launches September 6 with Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe's Every Brilliant Thing in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater through October 15. Colm Summers will direct the coming-of-age solo play, set to star Billions' Daniel K. Isaac. That work will be followed by the West Coast premiere of Samuel Baum's The Engagement Party, playing the Gil Cates Theater October 4–November 5. Tony winner Darko Tresnjak will direct the play, centering on an engagement party that goes awry when a glass of wine is spilled.
In 2024, Selina Fillinger's POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive will make its Los Angeles premiere running in the Gil Cates January 17–February 18, 2024. Jennifer Chambers will direct the new production of the farce, which tracks a White House in chaos as staffers race to neutralize a PR crisis. The work, a 2019 selection for the Killroys' List, made its Broadway premiere last season.
The world premiere of Kristen Adele Calhoun's Black Cypress Bayou will follow in Geffen's Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater February 7–March 17, 2024, directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene. Described as both suspenseful and comedic, the work sees Vernita Manifold inviting her two daughters down to the bayou on a hot Texan summer night with secrets to share about the death of the richest, meanest man in town.
Two additional = premieres will follow Fat Ham, with the world premiere of Helder Guimarães' The Hope Theory playing the Audrey Skirball Kenis April 25–June 9, 2024, and the West Coast premiere of Mike Lew's tiny father closing out the season June 12–July 14, 2024.
Guimarães, a Portuguese immigrant, storyteller, and magician, will also star in The Hope Theory, which follows the cultural and professional challenges he faced while trying to build a home. Five performances will be offered in Spanish. Frank Marshall will direct.
tiny father will close out the season running June 12–July 14, 2024 at the Geffen's Gil Cates. The West Coast premiere will follow dual World Premiere runs this summer at Massachusett's Barrington Stage Company and New York's Chautauqua Theater Company. Lew is reuniting with director Moritz von Stuelpnagel after earlier collaborations on Teenage Dick and Bike America. The work is set in a hospital NICU as the early arrival of a baby girl forces Daniel to forge an uncertain path to parenthood.
For more details, visit GeffenPlayhouse.org.