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James Bierman

Professor Jim Bierman
Professor, Theater Arts
Playwriting, theater history and literature, classical and Renaissance drama, Chicano theater, digital media

In addition to his interests in dramatic writing, theater history, and dramatic literature, James Bierman is also an enthusiastic participant in the Digital Arts and New Media program’s Performative Technologies research group. His creative work centers around dramatic writing, but also includes theater criticism and interactive digital artifacts.

Education and Training: 
Princeton University - B.A. Romance Languages
Université de Paris (Sorbonne) – Propédeurique and Diplôme
Stanford University - Ph.D.- Drama & Humanities (Dissertation on "Alfred Jarry and the Birth of an Abstract Theater")
Further study of acting, directing, and movement with Andre Gregory (New York) and Anna Halprin (San Francisco)
Selected Publications: 

Selected Plays:

  • The School for Fiancé(e)s, University of California (1990), Unicorn Theater, Monterey 1995, Shakespeare Santa Cruz Festival, (2009)
  • Subject B’s Confession, University of California, Santa Cruz, (2008)
  • Election Day, University of California, Santa Cruz (2006)
  • Caesar Antichrist, translation of a play by Alfred Jarry, University of California, Santa Cruz (2005)
  • Ruy Blas, translation of a play by Victor Hugo, University of California, Santa Cruz (2004)
  • Clinical Trials, unproduced (1996)
  • Buck Stevens: Adventures in Space, The Stay Tuned Theater, Santa Cruz (1994), Kindness of Strangers Theatre, Los Angeles (1996)
  • The Video Haggadah, Santa Cruz Actor's Theater (1992)
  • The Future (According to Walt Disney), unproduced (1990)
  • Bad Marriages, New Rose Theater, Portland, Oregon (1987)
  • Murphy (adaptation of a novel by Samuel Beckett), University of California (1987); The Powerhouse Theater, Los Angeles (1987)
  • The Fabulous Life and Death Adventures of Don Juan Tenorio, El Teatro Campesino (1983), Sacramento State Theater (1987)
  • Plant Y Nevada, commissioned BBC (1982)
  • in re: Underwood, The Marina Theater, San Francisco (1980), ATA Theater, New York (1980), Commissioned BBC (1982)
  • Heartaches, The Performing Garage, New York (1978)
  • Worse Than You Can Imagine, IRT Theater, New York (1979)
  • Saint Nicholas Miracle, University of California (1973)
  • Harlequinade, Sacramento State Theatre (1968)
  • The Miracle Wolf of Gubbio, Stanford University (1966), Playhouse Theatre, Vancouver, B.C., and University of California (1974)
  • Valparaiso, Stanford University (1966)
  • Do You Trust Your Garage Man?, Princeton University (1964)


  • Moonchild (1980). Writer. British Channel IV, PBS, Home Box Office, ZDF Television (West Germany), General Distribution U.S.A. and Great Britain. Several Film Festival prizes.
  • John Milton's Lycidas (1977) Director and Editor, EMC Films, Berkeley, California
  • Princeton Contexts (1962) Writer, 1st Prize. Documentary Film - San Francisco International Film Festival, Distribution Princeton University and United States Information Agency

Selected Critical Writings

  • “Chicanos on Broadway,” Culturtec 2000, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain, published in proceedings (2002)
  • "The Electronic Hamlet," Association for Computing in the Humanities Congress, Paris, Sorbonne, published in proceedings (1994)
  • "Social Chaos and Ethical Confusion in Molière's Amphitryon" in Winckelmann-Gesellschaft, (Summer, 1990)
  • "About Bad Marriages," The Oregonian, (22 February, l987)
  • "A Personal History of Murphy," Call Board , (February, 1987)
  • "Docudrama/Lying Convincingly," Call Board (the Publication of Theater/ Bay Area) (August and September issues, 1986)
  • "Theatrical Futures of the Recent Past," Journal of Popular Culture, (Spring, 1985)
  • "Theater in Review: El Teatro Campesino," Latin American Theater Review, (Fall 1984)
  • "Old Dog, New Bite," Time Out, London, #586, pp.11-12, (1982)
  • "Crowning Miss California, Again" in Women in American Theater, ed. Chinoy, Crown,(1989) and TCG,(2005). pp.33-41
  • "Snoo Wilson: Enfant Terrible of the English Stage," Modern Drama, XXXIV:4 (December, 1981) pp.424-435
  • "The Critic as Teacher," City Arts Magazine, (May 1981)
  • "Docudrama: Truth and the Illusion of Truth," City Arts Magazine, (March 1981)
  • "The Playwright Speaks," City Arts Magazine, San Francisco, (January 1980)
  • "Disneyland and the Los Angelization of the Arts," The History of American Popular Entertainment, ed. Matlaw, American Society for Theater Research, Greenwood Press, (1979). pp 273-282
  • "Yogaswimming," Yoga Journal, (June 1978); also in American Yoga, Grove Press, (1980)
  • "Three Places in Rhode Island," The Drama Review, Winter (1979)
  • "Shootout at Universal Studios," Soho News, (November 1978) and Theater West, Rodopi; Amsterdam, Holland,(1990)
  • "The Rockettes, Alive and Kicking," Soho News, (April 1978)
  • "The Alexander Technique Gets its Direction," Dance Scope, 12:2 (March 1978) pp.24-33
  • "The Walt Disney Robot Drama," The Yale Review (Winter1977) pp. 223-236
  • "Walt Disney's America Sings," The Drama Review, xx:2 (June 1976) pp. 63-72
  • "The Antichrist Ubu," Comparative Drama, ix:3 (Fall 1975) pp.226-247 and in Drama in the Twentieth Century, ed. Davidson, et. al. AMS Press. pp151-172
  • Caesar Antichrist by Alfred Jarry (tr. and intro. Bierman) Omen Press, Tucson, Arizona, (1973)
  • Over 100 other articles, essays and theater reviews for Time Out, London and others.

Digital Publication

  • “Aristotle or Else” located at
  • “The Edgar Allen Poe-try Deconstructor” Online software at (2005)
  • “Hamlet Conundrums,” Online course located at (2004)
  • "El Teatro Campesino: From the fields to Hollywood" CD-ROM (1999), Films for the Humanities and Sciences, El Teatro Campesino
  • "William Shakespeare's Hamlet," CD-ROM (1996)
  • "Aristotle's Greek Tragedy Construction Kit," (computer textbook) (1987) Academic Courseware Exchange, Apple Computer and Kinko’s Copy Service, (1989) Intellimation
  • "Blake 12," (computer font), Educomp,1987
  • "Apollinaire," (animation) Educomp, 1987
  • "Waterloo" (animation) Educomp, 1987

Languages: French, Spanish, Greek (both Ancient and Modern)

Computer Scripting Languages: Pascal, HyperTalk, SuperTalk, MiniScript, Lingo, Flash ActionScript, JavaScript

Honors and Awards: 
  • National Endowment for the Humanities College Teaching Fellow (1998)
  • Apple Computer Higher Education Fellow (1989)
  • Theater Communications Group (New York City): Bad Marriages nominated for "Plays in Progress" series (1988)
  • Awards for Moonchild (1982) - Gold Hugo Award, Chicago International Film Festival; Paramount Award for Best Feature, National Educational Film Festival; Gold Award, Cindy Competition; Red Ribbon, American Film Festival; Cine Golden Eagle, Council on International Non-Theatrical Events; First Prize, Birmingham International Film Festival; First Prize, Palo Alto Film Festival; Best Film - American Personnel and Guidance Film Festival
  • Bay Guardian critics choice of in re: Underwood in the ten best plays in San Francisco (1980)
  • Award of the Office of Advanced Drama Research (1975)
  • Danforth Foundation Associate (1970)
  • 1st Prize - Sacramento State College National Playwriting Contest (1968)
  • Fulbright Scholarship to Paris (1966-67)
  • 1st Prize - Film As Communication in the San Francisco International Film Festival (1962)
Office: 831-459-2174
J17 Theater Arts Center, J Building
Office Hours: 

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