Thursday, December 27, 2012


James Armstrong grew up in Pensacola, Florida, where he became one of the founding members of the Northwest Florida Young Playwrights Society. The Society produced several of his early plays, including "Muddin' in Chumuckla," now published by Eldridge Plays and Musicals, and "To a Steed," which was published in the literary journal Arts & Letters.

James has studied playwriting and theater at Harvard University, Drew University, and Oxford University (Keble College). He also holds an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. In the fall, he will be beginning a Ph.D. program in theater at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

His plays have received productions and staged readings across the country, both by academic institutions and by professional (Actors Equity) theaters such as the Abingdon Theatre Company, Bristol Riverside Theatre, CAP21, the Epiphany Theater Company, New Jersey Repertory Company, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, and Urban Stages. His teleplay "Cacophony Cookies" aired on local television in Pittsburgh.

The author has received numerous awards for his work. His one-act play "Birdgirl on Walkabout" was voted by the audiences as "Best Play" at Boston Playwrights' Platform's 28th Annual Summer Festival of New Plays. It is now published by Norman Maine Publishing.

New York has seen several of his other plays, including "The New Mrs. Jones" (now published by Brooklyn Publishers) at the Theatre-Studio Inc., "The Mating Habits of New Jersey Wildlife" at Dance Space Center, "The Sign in the Scarlet Prison" at Theater for the New City, "Searching for St. Anthony" at the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Festival, "When Ladies Go A-Thieving" at the American Globe Theatre, "Better a Beggar" at the Bouwerie Lane Theatre and "The Mysteries of the Castle of the Monk of Falconara" at the Spotlight On Halloween Festival. "The Mysteries of the Castle" is anthologized in The Best American Short Plays: 2005-2006, published by Applause Theatre & Cinema Books.

In 2006, his play Foggy Bottom, which The New York Times called "one of the most international farces around," premiered at the Abingdon Theatre where it played to packed houses, becoming the most successful production in the history of the Abingdon's black box space up to that time.

A number of his plays have been produced on Staten Island, as well, including "Dickens Condensed," now published by Playscripts, Inc., and "The Pirate Princess," now published by Eldridge. In addition, monologues from his plays The Metric System and "Wall Street Hymn" are included in collections published by Smith and Kraus.

The Epiphany Theater Company produced his adaptation of A Christmas Carol in Saratoga Springs, New York. James has also adapted The Romance of Tristan as the play Net of Dreams as well as the Horace Walpole novel The Castle of Otranto.

In 2009, Playwrights' Forum in Memphis, Tennessee premiered his play The Metric System. That summer, his monologue play "The True Author... Revealed" was performed at The Tank in New York City. The Metric System is now published by Original Works Publishing and "The True Author... Revealed" is included in The Best American Short Plays: 2008-2009.

Recently, his short play "The Rainbow" premiered as a part of the 18th Annual NYC 15-Minute Play Festival at the American Globe Theatre. The play is also a finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville's 2012 Heideman Award.

James is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. He currently resides in Manhattan.