Headlands Center for the Arts

James Ijames

pennsylvania | writing
Artist in Residence Program 2018

Artist Statement

My plays all deal with inheritance. I’m curious about both the things we each inherit and the things we are collectively leaving behind for our children and grandchildren. Plays can’t just be about that. So I’m also interested in the collateral damage. What happens when my inheritance collides with yours. A LOT! So I tend to write those things. Throw that all in with a penchant for hypertheatricality, carnivalesque structure and an abundance of pop culture references. I’m always trying to draw the past and the future together in the moment on stage in real time, right now.

While At Headlands

While at Headlands I have three projects in varying stages that I plan on completing. The first of three will be a play that deals with race and nature. It’s incredible that I will be able to focus on this play in such a beautiful natural landscape and allow the setting to inform the play. This play is already in its early stages and this time will allow me to finish a first draft. The second project I will be working on is a play that deals with digital sharecropping and data as character. I’ll be grappling with how to theatricalize social media and create a world that feels like scrolling through a news feed. Finally, I will be completing the book for a new musical for young audiences and young performers called The Omniscients.

Selected Texts

“The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington”, play text, 2013 (445.99K)

“Moon Man Walk”, play text, 2014 (303.86K)

“TJ Loves Sally 4Ever”, play text, 2017 (352.26K)

“WHITE”, play text, 2016 (310.86K)

Personal Website