James Ijames

Playwright + Performer

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Tank Stranger Sees the Face of the Divine in the Condensation of a Water Glass

3W 1M

The Stranger family are weird and Tank Stranger is the weirdest of them all. So weird he might be aliens...or part alien? Bi-terrestrial? In this, super black, super futuristic retelling of the birth of Dionysus, the Stranger family discover one of theirs is from another planet and has to choose whether to stay on this slowly warming dumpster fire called earth or go to another world in another galaxy where the people live like ghosts and drink sunlight like water.

Developed with The New Black Fest and The Lark


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FAT HAM

3W 4M

Juicy’s family has been raising and barbecuing pigs for three generations but all Juicy wants, is to get his online degree in Human Resources and get as far away from pigs as he can. But his dreams are halted when his mother and his uncle’s wedding use up all his tuition money and the ghost of his father shows up and tell him to kill his Uncle. In this raunchy and brutally funny take on Hamlet I’m exploring toxic masculinity, cycles of violence and the efficacy of tragedy for black people. Spoiler alert…I don’t really think Black folks need tragedy.


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Where We’ve Been

1W 1M

Eric and Erica have known each other since they were 16 years old. They have seen each other through the highs and lows of their lives. In this play that jumps from the past to the present to the future on a line we explore the beauty of friendship, the effects of shared trauma and the healing power of drag and a good dance break.

Available for Development


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TJ LOVE SALLY 4EVER

3W 2M + a Marching Band or the theatrical equivalent

TJ is a University Dean. He’s in love with Sally. Sally does not love TJ. Sally is a student. This will not be easy. There’s a marching band, several step shows and the dismantling of the legacies that keep us tied down.

In short: Imagine if Thomas Jefferson was a University Dean and Sally Hemings was his work-study student. Isuncomfortable.

2019 Relentless Award Honorable Mention

Available for Development


Youth

2W 4M

A young man discovers he likes boys, A youth pastor tries in vain to connect with a pizza delivery person and a small church is disrupted when a mysterious young man joins the youth group who has magical powers. 

Available for Development

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Matter Out of Place

2W 2M

Matter Out of Place is about guy who works in IT and has a one night stand. In the moment of ecstasy he is throttled into the future where he is worshiped as a deity and his twitter feed is the holy scripture. It's ultimately about how we chose the things we want to worship and how what we leave behind can change the world.

Developed with Available Light Theatre in Columbus, OH


Abandon

1W 3M

Luella is alone. She is haunted by the ghost of her son. Joshua is alone. He has been kicked out of his house by his brother. One winter night these two people collide into each other. Luella is looking for redemption, Joshua is looking for family. By the next morning, these two lonely souls are meshed together into an American Family in it's truest sense.

Commissioned by The Arden Theatre Company (not available for perusal copy.)


KillMove

Kill Move Paradise

4 M

Kill Move Paradise takes the Elysium of Greek antiquity and flips the script. Set in a netherworld prepared for its newly deceased inhabitants, we follow Isa, Daz, Grif and Tiny as they try to make sense of the world they have been "untimely ripped" from and this new paradise they find themselves in. Inspired by recent events, Kill Move Paradise is a expressionistic buzz saw through the contemporary myth that "all live matter" and a portrait of the slain, not as degenerates who deserved death but as heroes who demand that we see them for the splendid beings they are.

World Premiere with the National Black Theatre in Harlem.

Available through Dramatist Play Service


WhiteBlood

White

2W 2M

In this modern Frankenstein story, a young artist trying to get into a major contemporary art museum hires a woman to claim his work. This plays spins out of control as it explores issues of race, gender, sexuality, and art. 

Developed at The PlayPenn New Play Conference and The Gulfshore Playhouse New Works Festival.

Mondays @ 3 Reading at New York Theatre Workshop

World Premiere with Theatre Horizon

Available through Dramatist Play Service


Moon Man Walk

2W 2M

A young man learns the truth about his absent father after he travels home to attend his mother's funeral. This magical journey through space and time takes us literally to the moon and back and explores the black family in the age of Mass Incarceration.

Developed with Ed Sobel and Azuka Theatre Company in Philadelphia PA and The Lark in New York, NY

World premiere Summer 2015 with Orbiter 3 Playwrights Collective

 Available through Dramatist Play Service


The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington

4W 2M 1Boy

The recently-widowed “Mother of America” lies helpless in her Mount Vernon bed, ravaged by illness and cared for by the very slaves that are free the moment she dies. The fever dream of terrifying theatricality that follows investigates everything from Martha Washington’s family to her historical legacy.

Developed with PlayPenn New Play Development in Philadelphia, PA. 

Selected for NNPN National New Play Festival San Diego, CA

World Premiere with Flashpoint Theatre Company Philadelphia, PA

Available through Dramatist Play Service


The Threshing Floor

1M

A young student goes to the south of France to interview his idol, James Baldwin. We meet Baldwin and all of the people in this colorful life who shaped the famous writer of Go Tell It On the Mountain, Another Country, The Fire Next Time and The Devil Finds Work.

Developed with Scott Edmondson and the Gloucester Stage Company Gloucester MA

World Premiere with Mauckingbird Theatre Company Philadelphia, PA