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James Phillip Gates


theatre seats in darkened theatre

The theatre can play an enormous part in the transformation of the whole of existence.

Vesevolod Meyerhold

About me.

man with glasses smiling to the camera, james phillip gates

My journey as a theatre practitioner has been exciting and varied. Training as a classical actor at the prestigious Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England - originally founded by Sir Laurence Olivier in the 1940s - was the genesis of a deeper creative drive. A pulsing urgency to expand my vision beyond a specific character was the propulsion into directing.


I departed London having been the helmer of a very successful theatre company, and landed on the shores of the United States in readiness to start a new venture as the Artistic Director of Roust Theatre Company. The backbone of my directorial output in Europe was Shakespeare, in New York City it was contemporary work: I feel honored when immersed in either.


Since the pandemic I find myself on the West Coast. New adventures await here in Los Angeles, but my ideals have not changed: I still endeavor to work on socially relevant theatre that not only uncompromisingly plumbs the depths of the human condition, but diligently seeks to unfold the machinations of the world in which we currently live. I consistently strive to hold the audience in the grip of unrelenting, imaginative theatre, that forces them to sit up and question the world around them.


I love listening and collaborating while in the trenches with my fellows.

(Pronouns: he/they)

I like the ephemeral thing about theatre, every performance is like a ghost—it's there and then it's gone.
Maggie Smith

backstage at a theatre behind the curtain



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