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Queer Storyteller-Activist

James T. Washburn (he/him) is a gay, trans, and disabled Storyteller-Activist born and raised in Seattle. A highly collaborative artist, his work is predicated on the idea that a story is best told with many voices. He is deeply inspired by his Queer, artistic, and Polish communities, and his experiences at the intersection of marginalized identities.

Washburn is a multi-hyphenate artist, with works spanning from the immersive epistolary novella Sealed with Honey to Achilles + Patroclus, a chamber opera commissioned by the Seattle Opera. He takes inspiration from folklore, mythology, and queer history; his work focuses on discovering queerness in traditional stories and reimagining familiar tropes and archetypes through a queer lens.
Washburn is the Founding Artistic Director of Magpie Artists’ Ensemble, an artistic collective focused on innovative cross-disciplinary storytelling. His work at Magpie allows him to collaborate with other artists in new ways, pushing genre boundaries and experimenting with how form and story serve each other. 

Upcoming projects include the one-night-only immersive worldbuilding project FABLE (Magpie and Theatre Off Jackson, June 29th); a graphic novel adaptation of Achilles + Patroclus (ill. Chess Albaneze); and a film adaptation of Persephonai (Magpie). His work is currently streaming on the Seattle Opera and Magpie Artists’ Ensemble websites.

When he's not playing with actors, you can usually find him in his office taping drafts to the wall murder board-style, or dancing with Syrena Seattle Polish folk dance ensemble on stages around the country.

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