James Craven has been a company member at Penumbra Theatre since 1981. There he performed in all 10 of August Wilson’s best known plays, as well as an additional 30 other plays. For 5 years he served as Penumbra Theatre’s Company Manager as well as an actor, doing double duty. He shared a 2012 Best Ensemble, IVEY Award for Driving Miss Daisy; a Jungle Theater production. In 2012, he was featured in The Road Weeps, The Well Runs Dry at Pillsbury House Theater, Amen Corner a Penumbra Theatre/ Guthrie Theater production and Nellie at St. Paul’s History Theater. Nationally, he was lauded for his performance as Simon in Milwaukee Reps production of Whipping Man. At Geva Theater (Rochester, NY) he receive raves for Mat Smart’s Tinker to Evers to Chance. 2015, James performed in Thurgood at Illusion Theater, Pussy Valley at Mixed Blood Theater and Choir Boy at Guthrie Theater. Next up he begins principal shooting for the film Blood Widow in Tucson in mid-December and will reprise his role in Tinker to Evers to Chance at the Merrimack Theater in Boston in January. He will return to the Penumbra Stage in the spring of 2016. James was the 2005 recipient of a Spenser Chereshore Fellowship, a 2007 McKnight Fellowship and a 2011 Lunt-Fountaine/Ten Chimney’s Fellowship.
“I’m super-excited about Penumbra’s next life cycle that will combine the theatre and a learning center–a place that allows for questioning, reflecting and understanding.”
—Phyllis Goff, Supporter