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James Palmer is a theatre director, producer, and educator based in New York City.  Recently, James brought to life the critically acclaimed production of A View from the Bridge at Long Wharf Theatre, starring Dominic Fumusa and Annie Parisse; the show has been nominated for nine Critics Circle awards including Best Direction.  James has directed coast-to-coast, collaborating with renowned companies such as Roundabout Theatre, Primary Stages, The Old Globe, Steppenwolf Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens, American Theatre Company, Trinity Repertory Company, and Asolo Repertory Theatre.  


James was the founding artistic director of Chicago’s award-winning Red Tape Theatre Company.  Established in 2004, Red Tape Theatre quickly became a staple of Chicago’s theatre community, consistently producing high-quality and impactful work.  Many of Red Tape Theatre’s productions have received critical acclaim and numerous awards. For instance, their production of The Love of the Nightingale received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Director (James Palmer) and multiple nominations for Best Production, Sound Design, Choreography, and Fight Choreography.  During his eight year tenure the company produced the Chicago premiere’s of Mouse in a Jar by Martina Majok, Church and Pullman, WA by Young Jean Lee, Obscura by Jennifer Barclay and Elephant’s Graveyard by George Brant.  


James is an alumnus of the Drama League New York Directing fellowship, Manhattan Theatre Club Directing Fellowship, Chautauqua Theatre Company Directing Fellowship, SDCF Observership, and the Peter Kaplan Fellowship.  James served on the Board of Directors for the League of Chicago Theaters.  James is an adjunct faculty member at Fordham University and has directed the Senior Acting Showcase for five years.  James has been invited as a guest director to SUNY Purchase, NYU Tisch, FSU, Primary Stages MFA, and Waterwell Drama Program.  


MFA in Directing from Brown/Trinity.  Member SDC.  

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