Celebrated Playwright James Ijames to Address School of the Arts Graduates

April 01, 2024

Sarah Cole, Interim Dean of Faculty at Columbia University School of the Arts, has announced that preeminent playwright James Ijames will speak at the School’s convocation, hosted on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at 7pm. The ceremony will recognize MFA graduates in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts + Sound Art, and Writing, and MA graduates in Film and Media Studies from the 2023-2024 academic year.

James Ijames is a Pulitzer Prize winning and Tony Award nominated playwright, a director and educator. 

James’s plays have been produced by Flashpoint Theater Company, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon, Wilma Theatre, Theatre Exile, Azuka Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), The National Black Theatre, JACK, The Public Theater (NYC), Hudson Valley Shakespeare Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Definition Theatre, Timeline Theater (Chicago IL) Shotgun Players (Berkeley, CA) and have received development with PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark, Playwright's Horizon, Clubbed Thumb, Villanova Theater, Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre and Victory Garden. 

James is the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist recipient, and received two Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Direction of a Play for The Brothers Size with Simpatico Theatre Company and Gem of the Ocean with Arden Theatre. James is a 2015 Pew Fellow for Playwriting, the 2015 winner of the Terrance McNally New Play Award for WHITE, the 2015 Kesselring Honorable Mention Prize winner for ....Miz Martha, a 2017 recipient of the Whiting Award, a 2019 recipient of the Kesselring Prize for Kill Move Paradise, a 2020 and 2022 Steinberg Prize winner, the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Drama recipient and a 2023 Tony nominee for Best Play for Fat Ham.

James was a founding member of Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first playwright producing collective. He received a BA in Drama from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and a MFA in Acting from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. James is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Villanova University. He resides in South Philadelphia. 

Join us here at 7 pm ET on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 to watch.