Operations Director, Theater Manager
James Pelican (He/Him) is the Facilities Manager as well as the producer of the Chautauqua Revue and other theater related events. He has been overseeing the facilities department since 2001. Since 2009, he has managed the upgrading of OAEC’s facilities, including construction of the new Guest Housing buildings, the Meeting Hall, and the Upper Nursery. Major remodels have included the main office, the kitchen and dining rooms, the dormitory yurts, the barn, and the old meeting room/studio building. He and fellow staff member Jim Coleman built the North Garden Theater. He delights in bringing a sense of whimsy and beauty into the facilities work. When not taking care of the built environment of OAEC, James lives a double life as a clown and actor. Besides his theatrical adventures beyond the borders of OAEC, he originated and continues to produce the Chautauqua Revue, the annual fall show that has thrilled audiences since 2003.
On Staff Since: 2001 Email > Phone: x108
In Their Own Words
My work at OAEC:
James oversees the maintenance and development of all of OAEC’s buildings and infrastructure. He also manages the theater.
He worked on farms for much of his twenties, then fell in with a construction contractor, Kirk Hopkin, in 1999. After a couple of years learning which part is the business end of a hammer, the Facilities Manager position came up at OAEC. He’s been at it ever since. He thinks he’s starting to get a handle on it. Theatrically, He didn’t get back into theater until after he had arrived at OAEC. He studied clown at the Dell ‘Arte School of Physical Theater and that set him on his path. Besides his staging of the annual Chautauqua Revue, he acts and directs with local theater companies. He is also part of a clown ensemble, Clowns On A Stick, that has worked together since 2003. Besides performing short bits as part of variety shows, they have performed several full length shows including To Bury A Cat, Tasty Bites, and A Rhapsody of Fools.
Theater, tap dancing, gardening, and, of course, my wife Jules and our cat, Daisy Mae Peacock.
Why my work matters:
I love my work. The OAEC is getting some good work done in the world, my projects are interesting, and I get to teach folks some skills.
My favorite resiliency resource:
The theater world constantly inspires me. Acting is the greatest thrill ride I’ve ever known. The creativity and bravery of my fellow actors and directors continually inspires me.
The wildest place I’ve ever been:
A few years back, high upon on a Sierran peak, I sat in a rock portal, as the wind howled through. The land for a hundred miles composed itself before me.
A song that always gets stuck in my head is:
“Lovergirl” by Teena Marie