James DeVita is a native of Long Island, NY. Along with his novels, A Winsome Murder, The Silenced, and Blue, which earned him the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Fiction, he has also worked extensively as a playwright. His plays for young audiences have been acknowledged with The Distinguished Play Award from The American Alliance of Theater and Education; The Intellectual Freedom Award by the Kentucky Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts; the Shubert Fendrich Memorial Playwriting Contest; and The American Alliance of Theater and Education honored his body of work for Youth Theater with the Charlotte B. Chorpenning Award. He a resident playwright at First Stage Children’s Theater, Milwaukee, WI.
Some of his plays for youth include: A Little House Christmas; A Midnight Cry; Treasure Island; Looking Glass Land; Bambi, A Life in the Woods (AATE Distinguished Play Award), The Christmas Play; Arthur, The Boy Who Would Be King; Swiss Family Robinson; The Christmas Angel; Tom Sawyer; Huckleberry Finn; Excavating Mom; The Thief Lord, and Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand. Jim’s adult plays include: An Improbable Fiction, Learning to Stay, Christmas in Babylon, Gift of the Magi (musical adaptation); In Acting Shakespeare; The Desert Queen (the life of Gertrude Bell); Dickens In America; Waiting for Vern, a new adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac.
His education began as a first mate on the charter boat JIB VII out of Captree Boat Basin, NY, where he worked for five seasons. He then studied theater at Suffolk County Community College. Long Island, where he received an AS Degree, then the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he received a BFA. He also attended Madison Area Technical College where he was licensed as an Emergency Medical Technician. Jim is a member of The Dramatists Guild and Actors Equity Association.