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Nathan J. James / Bio

As an Actor/Poet/Playwright, Nathan James is a proud native of Pittsburgh, PA, where he began his career with Kuntu Repertory Theater. He has most recently performed his acclaimed One Man Show, Growing Pains, on Theatre Row in the heart of Times Square, NYC at The United Solo Theatre festival (The largest solo performer festival in the world). Prior to Growing Pains, he was seen in the Off-Broadway production, Playing with Fire, with The Negro Ensemble Company and The August Strindberg Repertory Theatre for which he and his cast has been nominated for an A.U.D.E.L.C.O. Award 2012 for “Best Performance by an Ensemble”. Nathan has most notably appeared as a plain-clothes police officer on the fifth season of HBO’s hit series, The Wire, and aided Young Money recording artist TYGA by performing his original spoken word poetry for the TYGA R.O.A.R Tour. He received an M.F.A. from Penn State University-Main and a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh. He has also studied Voice and Dramatic Literature in London with voice coach Charmaigne Hoare; as well as Acting for the Camera in Toronto, Ontario at the Pro Actors Lab with David Rotenberg. You may also look for him Co-starring in the role of AL in an Indie Film Pain Within, which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival 2006.
Some of his theater credits include: Playing with Fire (The Son, The August Strindberg Repertory Theater in collaboration with the Negro Ensemble Company, NYC), Work Song (Pittsburgh City Theater), Singing on Holy Ground (South Africa International Theater Festival), Revenge of a King (Ray, The National Black Theater Festival). As a playwright, Nathan’s play Contrary to Popular Belief has been featured in the Reader’s Theater at the National Black Theater Festival 2009, The Standardized reading series at Center Stage NY, and in the Cultural Conversations Festival 2009 at Penn State University.
Voted as a Top 5 semi-finalist in the official MySpace Def Poetry Jam contest, he has been ranked as one of the top 15 poets in the Nation by Poetry Slam Incorporated 2005, and performed his Langston Hughes inspired poem I too Sing America 2 on the 2006 Emmy Award nominated documentary soundtrack Torch Bearers. Nathan has also been a featured Poet at the South Africa International Theater Festival, as well as many Universities and Poetry venues in the United States. Being the founder/Artistic Director of Learning 2 Unlearn Entertainment, Nathan has established the Mic Melter Poetry Series, and The Sea To Shining Sea Project (a program formed to generate school supplies for children in need in the Caribbean and the continent of Africa), and his one man show Growing Pains. Nathan has been commissioned to write and perform poems for some of America’s premiere black pioneers, most notably Mae Jemison, Roy Ayers, and Angela Davis. You may find some of his work published in the National Poetry Anthology 2004 (Poetry Slam Inc.) and Eternal Portraits (The International Library of Poetry 2005). He has shared the stage with International artists/personalities such as: Sean "Diddy" Combs, James Earl Jones, The Last Poets, Bobby Seale, Amel Larrieux, Raheem Devaughn, Donnie, Molefi Kete Assante, and Saul Williams. Acting and Poetry have been loves of his since his early years of high school. It wasn’t until influence by the late Robert Penny (his mentor/professor at the University of Pittsburgh), and his acting mentor Dr. Vernell A. Lillie, that Nathan decided to put his acting and writing talents together to create spoken word performance pieces and plays that were entertaining but educational as well.

General Info

Band Members
Nathan James
Artist Name
Nathan J. James
Home Page
Other / Spoken Word / Hip Hop

Contact Info

New York, NY

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