Acting Credits

Here's some of what the critics have to say about Jim VanValen:

As Rothko in RED

"Van Valen is nothing short of brilliant as his Rothko rages and worries, waging an internal war against both his own towering ego and his devastating feelings of inadequacy." Rob Cline, "Riverside’s Exploration of 'RED' is Masterful" The Cedar Rapids Gazette

"Van Valen's Rothko is soulful and intriguing; he really transforms into this man who, though a giant in his own time, was more and more an artifact in the swiftly-changing New York of the late 1950's." James E. Trainor III, "'RED' an Intriguing Mix of Heady and Visceral" The Iowa Theatre Blog

As The Librarian in Underneath the Lintel

"Veteran actor Jim VanValen is a natural fit as the charming story­teller in the solo piece that explores the meaning of life and the measure of one’s worth. With a performance ranging from funny to intense, VanValen connects with theatregoers before the play even begins, easily taking command of the mostly bare stage until the last spellbinding moment when the lights fade to black." Angela Smith, "'Underneath the Lintel' a Winner on Waxlax Stage" The Press Journal

"An undercurrent of intrigue pulls you into Glen Berger’s unusual one­person play on the boards now at Vero Beach’s Riverside Theatre. Each scrap of evidence the Librarian reveals (portrayed elegantly and with restrained angst by Jim Van Valen) tightens the play’s story and we eventually ask is this an obsession or a mystery?" Pam Harbaugh, "Riverside Theatre’s 'Underneath the Lintel'" Brevard Culture Magazine

As Denny in A Steady Rain

"Van Valen brings us into the mind of this nuanced character with passion and skill. As the story progresses and we see Denny in crisis, we get the sense of how long he's been walking a beat, how much danger and despair he's seen. Van Valen throws his entire body into this part and lives in this mess of a man; it's gripping storytelling and an impressive display of craft." James E. Trainor III, "'A Steady Rain': Theatrical Story­Telling At Its Finest" The Iowa Theatre Blog

As Victor in An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf

"Jim VanValen as Victor delivers a powerhouse performance." WFIT-FM / NPR Melbourne, FL

"The comedy gets its dramatic heft from VanValen. For his talent alone, the show is worth seeing." Michelle Genz, "'Bon appetit! Absurdist comedy 'Empty Plate'" Vero Beach 32963

"With understated sighs and a world-weary knitted brow Jim Van Valen is forlorn perfection in the role of Victor and evokes very much a Paul Giamatti-esque presence." Pam Harbaugh, Brevard Culture Magazine

As Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey

"But the real glue that holds this zany comedy together is the subtle, affectionate, and truly brilliant performance of Jim Van Valen as Elwood. His gentle, low-key characterization is a quiet masterpiece... we see an Elwood who is truly an innocent." David Dow Bentley III, "Barter's 'Harvey' Is A Gentle Spirit For Modern Times" The Washington County News

"In the role of Elwood P. Dowd, Jim Van Valen is perfectly sweet and meek, just a man in control of his day, whatever is set before him, and always with decorum. Jim is a delight to watch. His facial expressions ring true without being comedic or overdone." Lynn R. McKinney, "Barter's 'Harvey' Charming" The Bristol Herald Courier

As Michael in Rounding Third

"Together they [Jim Van Valen and Greg Longenhagen] have delicious comic timing and VanValen is terrific with a bargain-with-God monologue over a fly ball heading his son's way." Hap Erstein, "'Rounding Third' scores as crisp comedy" The Palm Beach Post

"It's the kind of show that makes you groan when VanValen and Longenhagen take their bows because you don't want it to be over." Valerie Nienberg, "Riverside's 'Rounding Third' Covers All Bases" The Press Journal

As Elyot in Private Lives

"Van Valen and Henke match each other’s energy with every change of affection, mirroring all of the anger, panic and awkwardness necessary to portray British comedy’s ultimate “It’s Complicated” couple. Their talent for physical comedy is a highlight of the play, bringing the loudest audience laughs with a bout of passive-aggressive dancing and what can only be described as the world’s angriest pillow fight." Jorie Slodki, "'Private Lives' Offers Glimpse Beyond Normal" Little Village Magazine

As Nicodemus, Lady Enid, Alcazar, & Pev Amri in The Mystery of Irma Vep

"Virtually non-stop laughs thread through 'Irma Vep'.... In every single role, this consummate performer (Jim VanValen) proves terrifically inventive, showcasing a rare and precious talent." Ruby Nancy, "No Mystery about 'Irma Vep': It's Hilarious" The Quad-City Times

"Sean Paul Bryan and Jim VanValen, each playing four nuanced roles, bring the house down." Ray Mattson, "Happily Over The Top" The Daily Iowan

As Mitch in Tuesdays With Morrie --

"VanValen, as Mitch, nails the character. He speaks as a sports commentator might, going from highly animated to genuine expression -- which is jarring at first, but comforting later, as he slows down and starts to reconnect with himself." Aileen Humphreys, "Fulton Soars with 'Morrie'" Intelligencer Journal

"Morrie Schwartz (played by the inestimable Frank Lowe) and Mitch Albom (played with sincerity and heart by Jim Van Valen), projected such a relaxed, funny and very real ease with the play and with each other." Marty Crisp, "Fulton's 'Tuesdays With Morrie' Enriches as Well as Entertains" The Sunday News

As Charlie in The Foreigner

"Jim Van Valen does a masterful job as Charlie... Everything from his energetic physical humor, to his nuanced facial expressions, to his well-paced timing and delivery of lines is right on." Beth Francis, "Florida Rep's 'Foreigner' At Times Uproariously Funny" The Naples Daily News

"The cast is as good as it gets, but it's VanValen who steals the show." Di Saggau, "'The Foreigner', A Rip-Roaring Farce" The River Weekly News

As William & Benjamin Franklin in Lightning Rod

"Jim Van Valen triumphs in the difficult task of playing both William when he was a Royal Governor of New Jersey and Ben when he was just a prosperous Philadelphia printer." Marty Crisp, "'Lightning' Strikes at The Fulton" The Sunday News

"Actor Jim Van Valen is excellent playing the dual role of a young Ben Franklin and William." Susan E. Lindt, "'Lightning Rod' Illuminates Ben Franklin" The Intelligencer Journal