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JAMES D. SASSER

ACTOR/LIBRETTIST/PRODUCER

BIOGRAPHY

With a career spanning Broadway, Off-Broadway, television, and concert stages around the world, James has been involved in the development of dozens of new works as an award-winning writer, singer, actor, and producer. His Broadway début was as a singer in Riverdance, and his musical credits range from the national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar (as Pilate) to Forbidden Broadway, to numerous Sondheim works (Sweeney in Sweeney Todd, Fredrik in A Little Night Music), and many others over a three-decade-plus performing career.

His professional début was as a boy soprano opposite soprano Deborah Sasson in the German premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem for German television. He studied classical voice with Joan Caplan at Manhattan School of Music, received a certificate in Shakespeare studies from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and an MFA from NYU’s Tisch Department of Graduate Musical Theatre Writing with a concentration in lyrics and book writing for musical theater.


James has worked with legendary arts organizations including Playwrights Horizons, New York City Opera, The O’Neill, New Dramatists, The Goodspeed, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Vineyard Theatre, The Village Theatre, and many others. James’ credits include Lawrence in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Emile in South Pacific, Archibald in The Secret Garden, and Billy Flynn in Chicago. His voice can be heard in hundreds of commercials, video games, and audiobooks of various genres. He has sung with the NJ Symphony Orchestra, the Air Force Band of the Golden Gate, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, and other pops orchestras around the world. Recent television appearances include CBS’s The Good Fight, Madam Secretary, and HBO’s Succession.


He is a Jonathan Larson Award Finalist as a writer with longtime collaborator Charles Vincent Burwell. Their musicals include Bottle Shock!, based on the hit film, which had its world premiere July 2023 at the California Center for the Arts Escondido; Le Comte Noir, commissioned by Manhattan School of Music, about Alexandre Dumas’ father and the real life inspiration for The Count of Monte Cristo; and the operetta By Georges! A Day in the Life of the Legendary Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the first ever operetta commissioned by The Lamplighters Music Theatre in their 70-year history.


James and Vince’s works have been official selections of the National Alliance of Musical Theatre New Works Festival (NAMT), Village Theatre’s Beta Series, and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley New Works Festival, and they are recipients of the Frank Young Fund for New Musicals development award. Their work has also been featured on Broadway on Demand, seen at Lincoln Center, 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, A Little New Music LA, and Feinstein’s at the Nikko SF.


His television pilot Forsyth County has garnered nine industry awards and recognitions including the HollyShorts Festival 2022 Best TV Screenplay. The music video for his original song Epitaph, inspired by Keats’ La Belle Dame Sans Merci, was recognized for excellence by the London Seasonal Short Film Festival and the XXII International Cinéfagos Film-Art Festival. James is also the book writer for Looking for Christmas with country music superstar Clint Black which premiered at The Old Globe San Diego.


As a producer with The 959 Group, his first outing was nominated for twelve Tony awards and won two: Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812, marking Josh Groban’s Broadway début. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Actors’ Equity, SAG-AFTRA, and ASCAP.

LATEST NEWS

REPRESENTATIVES

THEATRE/LITERARY

Aaron Sanko


FILM/TV

Heather DeAngelo


LITERARY

Shawn Marie Jeffrey

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