James Critchfield


The Savoyards are excited to have long-time member James Critchfield co-hosting the Grand Duke’s Dress Ball.

Bachelor of Arts; Theater Arts / Acting ~ Point Park University (‘87)
Post Bacculariate; Children’s Theater In Elementary Education (Cum Laude) ~ Point Park University.  (‘99)
Director of Education, Father Ryan Arts Center of Focus On Renewal
Executive Director, Actors Civic Theater

Jim is extremely happy to serve as co-host and reprise his role of our witty and topsy-turvy lyricist, W. S. Gilbert for this, our Pittsburgh Savoyards’ 75th anniversary.  He has performed in 9 different productions and directed 5 for our G & S troupe since 1982.  Jim has lived, studied and worked as a professional actor, singer, director, producer, theater consultant, administrator, and performing arts educator in Western PA for most of his life.  He is the Director of Education at the beautiful Father Ryan Arts Center of Focus On Renewal in McKees Rocks, PA.

Mr. Critchfield is also the Founder and Executive Director for Actors Civic Theater.  Along with dear friend and talented colleague Mary Chess Randolph (Artistic Director for ACT) they’ve brought their professional theater company to our beautiful facility to produce live musicals, comedies, dramas, and professional children’s theater.  Some of the shows produced by ACT here at the arts center include; A Christmas Carol, Seussical, Willy Wonka, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Nunsense, Agnes of God, and Our Town.

Jim isn’t only an accomplished arts administrator but is also a professional artist in his own right.  He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States and has performed leading roles with many of the professional performing arts companies in the area.  His performance credits include – but are not limited to – The Pittsburgh Savoyards, Actors Civic Theater, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, The Opera Theater of Pittsburgh and many productions for Pittsburgh Musical Theater.  Some of his favorite roles include (Tevye) Fiddler on the Roof, (Stage Manager) Our Town, (Professor Marvel/The Wizard) The Wizard of Oz, (The Pirate King) The Pirates of Penzance, (Jonathan Brewster) Arsenic and Old Lace, (John Falstaff) Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and (Ebenezer Scrooge) in A Christmas Carol, for which he has received audience and critical acclaim since December 1991.

He has also directed and taught for Prime Stage, The Pittsburgh Savoyards, Focus On Renewal, Actors Civic Theater, The University of Pittsburgh’s Falk Laboratory School, Point Park University’s Playhouse School and Community Outreach Partnership Center, Duquesne University’s Vincentian Academy, Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s Richard E. Rauh Conservatory, East Liberty Presbyterian Church’s Hope Academy, The Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh Children’s Festival Chorus.  He has also served as the Education Director for Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater.

James has also been a professional church musician for over 28 years at several churches including: serving as music minister and choir director for the Pismo Beach Community Presbyterian Church (Pismo Beach, CA); and soloist/section leader for: Concord Presbyterian (Carrick); St. Peters Episcopal (Brentwood); East Liberty Presbyterian (East Liberty); and is presently the tenor soloist and section leader for the Church of the Ascension in Oakland.