Signature Theatre is presenting Daniel J. Watts’ The Jam: Only Child as the second production in the Signature Features 2021 Season. Written and performed by Daniel J. Watts and featuring DJ Duggz, The Jam: Only Child is the fifth in Watts’The Jam series and pertains to growing up as the only child of a single mother in the ’80s and ’90s. Daniel J. Watts’ The Jam: Only Child will be available to stream from March 16 through May 7 in HD on Marquee TV, an on-demand streaming platform dedicated to global arts and culture. Single stream tickets are available to purchase for $35 and subscriptions to the full season for $200. Tickets and subscriptions can be purchased at SigTheatre.org. The show will be available to stream for 72 hours after patron’s initial viewing has begun.
“Theater, in my opinion, is meant to bring people together to experience some semblance of life in a shared space,” says writer/performer Daniel J. Watts. “In these times when we are still unable to properly gather, we’re all learning and re-learning what it means to share space. I’m most excited about the prospect of this work being able to reach people who might not normally have access to it or feel like they might not be entitled to it. My hope is this production not only reminds audiences that theater is alive and well, but also encourages a new wave of theatergoers and theater-makers to join us when we can gather again.
“Daniel J. Watts is an incredible artist – and The Jam: Only Child is a party like no other,” says director Lileana Blain-Cruz. “Working on the show felt like working with family, and it’s been a space of love in the midst of so much turbulence. I’m thrilled to share it with the world.”
“Daniel J. Watts’ beautiful and heartfelt show encompasses the entire human experience,” says Managing Director Maggie Boland. “We are honored to transform this series into a filmed production and to bring this talented voice to audiences worldwide.”
“Daniel’s voice is without question one of the most exciting in the American Theater,” says Associate Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner. “In his deeply personal piece he shares the joys and pains of growing up, all the while challenging us as an audience to be accountable, to view the world with eyes wide open, and to ultimately be more compassionate. I am thrilled that Daniel agreed to bring his piece to Signature and work with Lileana Blain-Cruz, an equally remarkable talent, to bring us this new filmed version.”
In Daniel J. Watts’ The Jam: Only Child, a nod to his great-grandmother’s plentiful recipe and the spirited spontaneity of jazz, 2020 Tony Award nominee Daniel J. Watts (Hamilton, Ike Turner in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) recounts his life as the only child of a single mother. From the fierce growing pains of boyhood innocence to the awkwardness of teenage years to a proud Black man, Daniel digs through his memory’s attic in a powerful and playful story of metamorphosis. Bursting with lyricism, dynamic tap dance, and heart, this delectable treat is a little bit savory, a little bit sweet, and a little bit sticky-but it’s all good.
Daniel J. Watts’ The Jam: Only Child is written and performed by Daniel J. Watts (Broadway’s Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Hamilton), and directed by Obie Award winner Lileana Blain-Cruz (New York’s Signature Theatre’s The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, Atlantic Theatre Company’s Anatomy of a Suicide). The creative team includes Lighting Design by Adam Honoré (Signature’s Simply Sondheim, The Public’s Ain’t No Mo), DJ and Sound Design by DJ Duggz (Broadway’s Memphis the Musical, Motown), Assistant Direction by Rickey Tripp (Broadway’s Choir Boy, Once on this Island), Post-Production Sound Editing by Ryan Hickey (Signature’s Simply Sondheim, A Chorus Line), and Production Coordinator Kerry Epstein (Signature’s Simply Sondheim, Gun & Powder). The production was filmed by Chiet Productions, with photography direction by Justin Chiet, and edited by James Gardiner, assisted by Natalie Ridgley.