About Me

Hello, and welcome to my website! I'm excited to share some examples of my work, and to tell you a little bit about myself and how I've arrived at where I am.

While I'm interested in learning about and practicing a wide range of subjects, my love for theater - and the process of teaching it - demanded that I make it my life's pursuit. My career in the theater began during my undergraduate years, where I split my time between my theater department productions (on and off stage!) and picking up over-hire gigs at theaters around the Boston area. I worked in most all areas of tech in those first years, learning the tricks of each trade, until I found myself spending most of my time building - and then designing - scenery. While earning a part-time living as a designer I continued my schooling and completed an MA in Theater Education, at which time I was able to secure my first teaching job as a professor of technical theater.

After a few years the opportunity came up to find employment at a different institution, and so I moved to a larger program where I was provided more opportunity, and responsibilities. Leveraging my academic experiences as a faculty leader and department chair, I began to find work in the professional world as a Production Manager. I found the role of the PM deeply rewarding because it kept me in close touch with my designer comrades, while also positioning me to work closely with many of the young over-hire employees we brought on during changeovers - the opportunity to continue my joy of teaching the next generation of theater practitioners in a real-world environment.

Most recently, I have been fortunate to complete my PhD in Educational Studies, where my research has focused on the cognitive developmental impact of the study of acting on undergraduate students. I look forward to discovering how this new aspect of my career - theater researcher - will impact my professional and academic process.

Overall, I feel fortunate in that my two decades of experience working at Equity theaters in Boston and around the North Shore have taught me valuable lessons about the procedures and process of making theater at the highest levels, both professionally and academically. My journey has provided me the skills necessary to bring my love for the theater into the classroom, where my intention is not simply to teach the craft of theater, but to create deep and life-long education for each student, through the creation of engaging, accessible, and innovative theater courses.

Teaching Experience


Huntington Theater Co.

Instructor of Technical Theater, Codman Academy Showcase

2007 - 2010

Bristol Community College, Fall River, MA

Professor of Technical Theater; Designer-in-Residence

2010 - 2020

Stonehill College, North Easton, MA

Faculty Fellow;Technical Director; Scenic Designer

Professoinal Experience (selected)

Production Manager:

Punctuate4 Theater Co., Gloucester Stage Co.

Scenic Designer:

FUDGE Theatre Co., Star Player of Bristol Country, Arlington Friends of the Drama

Technical Director:

FUDGE Theatre Co., Shakespeare NOW! Theater Co.

Scenic Technician:

Gloucester Stage Co., New Reperatory Theater Co., Huntington Theater Co., Stoneham Theater Co.

My Education

BA Fine Arts - Concentraion Theater Arts

Stonehill College, North Easton, MA

MA Theater Education

Emerson College, Boston, MA

Continuing Graduate Studies, MFA Scenic Design

Boston University, Boston, MA

PhD Educational Studies - Specialization Adult Learning and Development

Lesley University, Cambridge, MA

You can check out my full Curriculum Vitae below!

Curriculum Vitae - James Petty - 6.28.2020