As an actor, James Crawford has appeared on professional stages across the country, tackling over one hundred roles, as diverse as Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing and George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? He has collaborated with such nationally acclaimed directors as Tina Landau, Robert Woodruff, Des McAnuff and Stan Wojewodski. Based in Dallas for many years, he performed in sixteen productions at the Dallas Theatre Center, as well as many other theaters in the region. He has won a Dallas/Fort Worth Critics Forum Award, a Leon Rabin Award, and was named Best Actor by D Magazine, the Dallas Voice and the Dallas Observer. He has made occasional appearances on screen, but has kept the focus of his work squarely on his first love, theatre.
As a director, James has enjoyed sinking his teeth into the work of Caryl Churchill, Tom Stoppard, Moliere, Oscar Wilde, Wallace Shawn, Beth Henley, Jane Martin, Peter Shaffer, Douglas Carter Beane and the Five Lesbian Brothers.
A graduate of Brown University, James received his MFA from the University of California at San Diego. He has taught acting at Muhlenberg College, the University of North Texas, and Southern Methodist University, where he became an Associate Professor and Head of the MFA and BFA Acting programs. In 2016, he became an Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of the South, aka Sewanee. He has taught everything from Shakespeare to Stanislavski to Meisner to Improvisation. His students affectionately mock him for his habit of asking them to raise the stakes of their scenes, and for pushing them to make choices that are “juicy” and “loaded.” He smiles, listens patiently, and stands by his preference for acting that is bold, impulsive and theatrical.
“James Crawford turns in another classic, understated, brilliant performance…”
“James Crawford is riveting as Mike…”
“James Crawford is a quite wonderful Benedick ...he milks every line for all it's worth…”
Best of Dallas:
“Dallas theatres compete to cast this powerful actor, who’s as versatile as John Lithgow, with a bit of Kevin Spacey’s penchant for dark humor…”