Guest artists are key component of the success of the Theatre Simpson program. This year we invited director/actor/playwright/teacher James Serpento to direct The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare and to teach an Acting I class. “A commitment to excellence; training in not only the art, but also in the “business of show;” and a quest for balance,” are his goals as an educator.
James got his BA in Speech Communication with an emphasis in Theatre from Iowa State University and went on to get his MFA from Indiana University in 1988. James has been a director for over 25 years and has worked on more than 50 productions for the stage and screen as well as having been an actor for over 30 years and appearing in over 100 projects in theatre, film, commercial, industrial, and print realms including appearances in Chicago stage productions of St. Joan and God’s Country, and feature films The Final Season, Sixteen to Life, and Dead Awake. In addition to directing and acting, he is also a writer having completed more than 50 plays and screenplays as well as a co-authoring a novel. James was a co-founder of several Des Moines companies and projects, including The Vaudeville Mews, AriesWorks Entertainment and the Wild Rose Independent Film Festival. His new company is Kingman Row Entertainment, and he sits on the Board of Directors of Iowa Arts-in-Education. Throughout his career he has kept his hand in education by teaching acting, directing, writing for stage/screen, and public speaking at various institutions around the country.
“He is one of the most passionate people I have ever met and has taught me so much about what acting really is! He has also given incredible advice about the business aspects of this industry.”Erin Webb
While Theatre Simpson has four full-time faculty and two full-time design staff, guest artists help bring a new perspective to the work. “James opened my eyes to a lot of things that I did not know about acting. He did a really good job of teaching us about how being truthful on stage is important for a good actor,” says Acting I student Ken Jaeger. Erin Webb who plays Perdita in The Winter’s Tale says “He is one of the most passionate people I have ever met and has taught me so much about what acting really is! He has also given incredible advice about the business aspects of this industry."
The Winter's Tale runs April 12-14th. Check out more about the play at http://simpson.edu/theatre/theatresimpson-201213-production-season/the-winters-tale-by-william-shakespeare/ .
Tickets are still available. You can reserve online at http://simpson.tix.com or contact the box office at 515.961.1601.