JAMES URBANIAK (Harry) Born and raised in New Jersey, James Urbaniak graduated from Marlboro High School in 1981, briefly attended a local community college and then "bummed around" New Jersey for several years, "working dead-end jobs and doing a lot of community theatre." In 1987, he met theatre director Karin Coonrod, with whom he co-founded Arden Party, a theatre company that made its debut on the Jersey shore in 1987. Arden Party started performing in New York City the following year, and today is something of an institution in New Yorks downtown theatre world, known for its arresting productions of such classic plays as "The Importance of Being Earnest," "Romeo and Juliet," Pirandellos "The Giants of the Mountain," and Aphra Behns Restoration comedy, "The Emperor of the Moon."
After working almost exclusively with Arden Party for several years, Urbaniak began performing with many other off-off-Broadway theatre companies including Cucaracha, Tiny Mythic, Target Margin, Spunky Productions, Hangdog Theatre, and Clubbed Thumb. In 1996 he won a Village Voice Obie award and an Encore Magazine "Taking Off" award for his performance in avante-garde writer-director Richard Foremans "The Universe" at the Ontological-Hysteric Theatre.
While performing in Cucarach Theatres legendary late-night serial "Underground Soap" in the early 1990s, Urbaniak met Hal Hartley who cast him in "Opera No. 1," a short film made for Comedy Central and Urbaniaks film debut. Hartley also used Urbaniak in the videos "NYC 3/94" and (in voice only)"The Other Also." In 1996 Urbaniak made his feature film debut as Fred, the odd deli assistant in Madeline Schwartzmans "Aphrodisiac," a caper-comedy about sex and religion. That same year he was cast as Isaac, a time-traveling 1950s science editor in Hilary Broughers feature film "The Sticky Fingers of Time," which was featured at theToronto Film Festival.