James Kenna

James Kenna

James is a New York City-based Writer, Actor, and Educator. His work largely concerns the bridge between childhood fantasy and adult reckoning. While often writing genre plays, his work is intentionally and distinctly accessible.

James is a current writer with Dreamweavers writer lab.

Recent plays include: Beowulf: Her Story" (Upcoming at the 2020 Edinburgh Fringe Festival....
James is a New York City-based Writer, Actor, and Educator. His work largely concerns the bridge between childhood fantasy and adult reckoning. While often writing genre plays, his work is intentionally and distinctly accessible.

James is a current writer with Dreamweavers writer lab.

Recent plays include: Beowulf: Her Story" (Upcoming at the 2020 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Produced by The Fellowship of the Ravens in association with AHSTF). "Italian Rose: A Solo Show" (A solo show developed in Spoleto, Italy alongside an Ars Nova Research Grant awarded by Fordham University). "The Key: A Solo Show" (Presented alongside a night of other short solo pieces).

James has interned with Steppenwolf Theatre Company's Education Department and is a former intern and Playmaking Associate at the 52nd Street Project, where he volunteers with the Teen Ensemble Class. He also Assistant Teaches with Child's Play NYC. He privately coaches students on monologue and character development.

James graduated from Fordham University in 2019 with a B.A. in Theatre: Performance and an award for distinguished achievement. James is represented by UIA Talent Agency.

Plays

  • As Told by Their Daughters
    As Told By Their Daughters, is a 90-minute drama in which four women embody characters of the past and the present: the ironworker fathers of the past and, themselves, the daughters of today. On the anniversary of a tragedy, the daughters grapple with the legacy their fathers built--an apartment building for them all to live in. The daughters over brunch, gather to celebrate the young Aura's birthday....
    As Told By Their Daughters, is a 90-minute drama in which four women embody characters of the past and the present: the ironworker fathers of the past and, themselves, the daughters of today. On the anniversary of a tragedy, the daughters grapple with the legacy their fathers built--an apartment building for them all to live in. The daughters over brunch, gather to celebrate the young Aura's birthday. However, the day devolves into a spiraled retelling of the day Aura's father died. Aura struggles to understand the father she never met, putting the pieces together through shreds of stories and memory. Meanwhile, the past unfurls itself as Aura's father Copper learns how he can become a father to his unborn child. Through poetry and distinct blue-collar voices, the play explores parenthood, the performance of gender, and the specific strain of a blue-collar lifestyle. 
  • Killing Mr. Mouse
    Best friends Zoe and Lizzie work at Misney's "Freezer: The Musical!" Zoe dreams of telling experimental theatre experiences while Lizzie prefers Misney's colorful capitalistic comforts. When Lizzie is kidnapped by Mr. Mouse's nefarious minions, it's up to Zoe to find some unlikely help and plunge into the Misney Underground to reunite with her best friend. All the while Mr. Mouse...
    Best friends Zoe and Lizzie work at Misney's "Freezer: The Musical!" Zoe dreams of telling experimental theatre experiences while Lizzie prefers Misney's colorful capitalistic comforts. When Lizzie is kidnapped by Mr. Mouse's nefarious minions, it's up to Zoe to find some unlikely help and plunge into the Misney Underground to reunite with her best friend. All the while Mr. Mouse's forces threaten to destroy New York City as we know it. A romp through corporatocracy, and the joys and guilt we as consumers face. This fantastical adventure is sure to appeal to audiences of wide ages
  • The Key
    For men, particularly straight cis men, to grow and improve they must confront themselves. This piece exists as an except of a larger Solo Show and confronts traditional masculine values. Exploring the male body and ego through biographical storytelling the piece investigates the comedy, darkness, and discomfort surrounding maleness
  • Beowulf: Her Story
    Beowulf sets out to save the Danes, redefine heroism and crack some legendary jokes along the way. A hilarious and contemporary spoof of the classic epic which inspired fantasy authors like Tolkien and third-period English naps worldwide. However, reluctant students all over Middle Earth will rejoice for this witty, theatrical misadventure! An ensemble of post-pubescent monsters and quippy warriors weave...
    Beowulf sets out to save the Danes, redefine heroism and crack some legendary jokes along the way. A hilarious and contemporary spoof of the classic epic which inspired fantasy authors like Tolkien and third-period English naps worldwide. However, reluctant students all over Middle Earth will rejoice for this witty, theatrical misadventure! An ensemble of post-pubescent monsters and quippy warriors weave together a new journey as Beowulf and her friends (and a few post-pubescent monsters) reconstruct what heroes can and should be.
  • I Like Fantasy Because I Can Escape From the Real World
    Max, an awkwardly endearing high schooler, pours every ounce of his imagination into his sketchbook. Through elven men in tight leather, princesses who dream to lecture at universities, and Fantasy Cowboys Max sketches up the world and people of “Skyfall.” When the sketchbook gets destroyed, Max spirals into the world he dreamed into reality. The quirky and colorful Skyfall is everything Max imagined and,...
    Max, an awkwardly endearing high schooler, pours every ounce of his imagination into his sketchbook. Through elven men in tight leather, princesses who dream to lecture at universities, and Fantasy Cowboys Max sketches up the world and people of “Skyfall.” When the sketchbook gets destroyed, Max spirals into the world he dreamed into reality. The quirky and colorful Skyfall is everything Max imagined and, unfortunately, more. Max cannot escape his real life, not even within the creation he made to run away in the first place. A playful, violent romp into a young person’s fantastical mythos.
  • Den of Iron Wolf (in Development)
    In the hard-nosed land of New York City Ironworkers a young actor, Harry, takes a job to pay his bills. Surrounded by people of different generations and beliefs Harry navigates pursuing his own dreams while becoming conflictedly invested in those around him. Are his artistic ambitions selfishly holding him back? Can he find greatness, and commune with those around him no matter how different?
  • Birds Fly Home
    When Jacob returns home after years missing, he reconnects with his old friend Connie to make money digging in her graveyard. The two dig up the past, unwittingly creating a foundation for the looming present waiting for Jacob. A play about returning home, bonds, and how to keep moving when your legs no longer run.
  • When the Lights Go Off We All Small
    3 actors and 4 simultaneous cameras create a virtual experience of explosive theatricality. Romulus, Morrigan, and Zelle must confront the primal loneliness that rears its head in the nighttime. Eventually, the world of the play breaks down and the actors' feral desperation collides, even though none of them are in the same room.
  • Italian Rose
    Harry Bonacci, Roe's brother, and Jim's grandfather lives somewhere between myth and memory. Jim asks Roe for the true story, from the heart of the Italian neighborhood of Chambersburg, New Jersey. Through the charismatic, irreverent voice of Aunt Roe this solo show dynamically swaps between past and present, addressing how we inherit the past. One actor inhabits up to four characters in a scene,...
    Harry Bonacci, Roe's brother, and Jim's grandfather lives somewhere between myth and memory. Jim asks Roe for the true story, from the heart of the Italian neighborhood of Chambersburg, New Jersey. Through the charismatic, irreverent voice of Aunt Roe this solo show dynamically swaps between past and present, addressing how we inherit the past. One actor inhabits up to four characters in a scene, flying through text that will pull the audience to reclaim grief. A witty, fast-paced solo show with a cast of characters to be performed by one actor.
  • No Young Hero
    In a near-future science-fantasy military, four teenagers pilot giant robots to defend their world. A mysterious threat known as "The Others," launches a final assault, and it's up to the cadets and their Commander May to hold the line. A coming of age play concerned in the quiet, painful, and joyous moments between battle.