Bio



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

James studied English and theatre at Drew University. He also holds an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. 

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, Detroit Repertory Theatre, Epiphany Theater Company, New Jersey Repertory Company, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Urban Stages, and Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater.

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 Sign in the Scarlet Prison at Theater for the New City, Searching for St. Anthony at the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Festival, 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.

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. More recently, his adaptation of Moby-Dick premiered at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater on Cape Cod.

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.

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 was also a finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville's 2012 Heideman Award and was included in the collection The Best American Short Plays: 2012-2013.

In 2014, his play THE STATE OF COLORADO v. TENNESSEE WILLIAMS premiered as part of the Bad Theater Fest at the Treehouse Theater in New York City. The play is included in the Fall 2015 issue of Canyon Voices online literary magazine.

Most recently Detroit Repertory Theatre premiered his new play Capital on in 2017. The Detroit Free Press called it an "inspired new comedy" that is "at once old-fashioned and modern, cerebral and slapstick."The cast (pictured below) included Ben Will, Harry Wetzel, Sara Catheryn Wolf, and Lulu Dahl.




Next up, the Nittany Theatre at the Barn will give a script-in-hand reading of his play Dark Night of the Soul on September 20th. The play won the 2017 National Free Speech Contest and will also receive additional readings in Florida on October 26th and 27th.

James is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. He currently resides in New York City, where he recently completed a Ph.D. in Theatre at The Graduate Center of City University of New York.