James Sherman is the author of the plays Magic Time, The God of Isaac, Mr. 80%, The Escape Artist, Beau Jest, This Old Man Came Rolling Home, Jest a Second!, Romance in D, From Door to Door, The Old Man's Friend, Affluenza!, Half and Half, Relatively Close, and Jacob and Jack.
James was a theatre student at Illinois State University in the early 1970's. He began his professional career as a writer and performer with The Second City in Chicago and received an M.F.A. degree from Brandeis University. Since 1985, he has had 13 plays premiered at the Tony Award winning Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago directed by Dennis Zacek and he was a founding member of the Victory Gardens Playwrights Ensemble.
James' plays have been published and are regularly produced by theatres throughout the United States and have also been seen in Canada, Mexico, Australia, South America, England, Germany, Austria, Turkey, South Africa, Australia, China, and Korea.
In the summer of 2006, James wrote and directed the movie of his play, Beau Jest, starring Lainie Kazan, Seymour Cassel, and Robyn Cohen and is available on DVD.
James currently teaches Playwriting and Improvisation at Columbia College of Chicago and DePaul University. He has been a teacher of Playwriting and Acting on the faculties of The Second City Training Center, Chicago Dramatists Workshop, and Victory Gardens Theater. He was a visiting professor for the spring '01 semester in Seoul, South Korea at the Korean National University of the Arts. He has led workshops in Improvisation at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.
He has received grants from the Illinois Arts Council and has been the recipient of fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, the Ragdale Foundation, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo. He is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America.