JAMES D. FARRUGGIO is an Ensemble Member at The Gift and a Chicago native (by way of the near-west suburb of Stone Park, for those who get offended by such distinctions). His passion for acting began He returned to Chicago (proper, not the burbs… for the sensitive types mentioned earlier) in 2003 to pursue a full-time acting career. Notable productions include the Midwest premiere of David Rabe’s Cosmologies (The Gift), playing Ronald Reagan opposite Tony Award-Winning actress Deanne Dunagan in Blind Date (Goodman Theatre), and playing Steve Baker in Show Boat (Lyric Opera of Chicago).
James does not have a long pedigree of prestigious awards, but Sheldon Patinkin once told him after a production at The Gift, “Terrific! Just terrific… the Irish accent sucked, but other than that…” James considers this the highest praise a Chicago actor could ever hope for.
On camera, James has acted opposite Kelsey Grammer, Rachelle Lefevre, and Vincent Kartheiser in Proven Innocent (Fox). He played young Hugh Hefner in The Playboy Club (NBC). He has also appeared as a Guest Star on APB (Fox), Chicago P.D. (NBC), Chicago Fire (NBC), Crisis (NBC), The Beast (A&E), and Prison Break (Fox). But it is his two lines in Batman: The Dark Knight that will perhaps forever garner the most interest from his adoring public. If you’re a Where’s Waldo fan, you’ll enjoy looking for him in that movie.
After decades as an actor, James has one simple philosophy. “No matter where or when you perform, whether it’s The Lyric in front of 4,000 or a storefront for 1 (and yes, that’s happened… more than once), the game is always the same. It’s a stage, a performer, a script, and an audience. When they all come together in one place, there’s a brief moment when something beautiful can happen.”
Additional credits at The Gift include: Streamers, Stop/Kiss, The Ruby Sunrise, Suicide Incorporated, and Northwest Highway.