Monday-Wednesday Friday 10:35-11:45 (walk-in hours)
Other hours by Appointment through the department secretary.
James Thomas is a Professor of Theatre in the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance. He earned his BA from St. Ambrose College, MA from Villanova University, and PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. His has taught at Mt. Holyoke College, Marquette University, and Florida State University, where he also served as Associate Dean. He chaired Wayne State's Department of Theatre from 1994 to 1999 and later the Department of Theatre and Dance from 2010 to 2012. He held the role of CFPCA Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs from 2015 to 2023.
In 2001, he established a summer study abroad program with the Moscow Art Theatre School, operational until 2021. His is translator of Russian director Anatoly Efros’s books The Joy of Rehearsal, The Craft of Rehearsal, and Beyond Rehearsal (Peter Lang Publishers) and has authored books The Art of the Actor-Manager (UMI Research Press), Script Analysis for Actors, Directors, and Designers (Routledge) and A Director’s Guide to Stanislavsky’s Active Analysis (Bloomsbury Publishing). He also has a forthcoming translation of the biography of Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, cofounder and director of the Moscow Art Theatre alongside Stanislavsky (Routledge). He has published in Methuen Drama, Theatre Journal, The University of Texas Library Chronicle, Contemporary Theatre Review, and SCENE: A Journal of Space and Scenic Production.
He is recipient of the Service Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and the Outstanding Mentor Award and Murray Jackson Creative Scholar in the Arts Award from Wayne State.
Area of Expertise
Stanislavsky's Active Analysis
Contemporary Russian Performance
Degrees and Certifications
PhD in Theatre History and Criticism, University of Texas at Austin
MA in Theatre, Villanova University
BA in Speech and Drama, St. Ambrose College
A Director's Guide to Stanislavsky's Active Analysis, London: Bloomsbury (forthcoming).
Beyond Rehearsal: Reflections on Interpretation and Practice Continued by Anatoly Efros, Translated by James Thomas, New York: Peter Lang, 2009.
The Craft of Rehearsal: Further Reflections on Interpretation and Practice by Anatoly Efros, Translated by James Thomas, New York: Peter Lang, 2007.
The Joy of Rehearsal: Reflections on Interpretation and Practice by Anatoly Efros, Translated by James Thomas, New York: Peter Lang, 2006.
Script Analysis for Actors, Directors and Designers, Boston: Focal Press, 2004 (1979, 1984).
The Art of the Actor-Manager: Wilson Barrett and the Victorian Theatre, Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1984.
Genre Analysis for Performance and Production
Awards and Honors
ATHE Service Recognition Award, 1996
WSU Outstanding Mentor Award, 2008
Murray Jackson Creative Scholar in the Arts, 2014-15