James Millar wrote the book and lyrics for The Hatpin, which premiered at the Seymour Centre, starring Caroline O’Connor, Peter Cousens, Melle Stewart and Barry Crocker, before it was picked up for a season in New York. The Hatpin was nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award in 2009 and received a workshop in London in 2012. In 2018 James and his long-term collaborator, Peter Rutherford, were the recipients of the inaugural Jeanne Pratt Musical Theatre Artists in Residence program which commissioned them to write/compose a musical theatre adaptation of Rosalie Ham’s novel, The Dressmaker.
James also wrote the lyrics for and performed in LoveBites in its premiere season at the Seymour Centre; LoveBites was also nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award in 2009 and enjoyed a return season at the Seymour Centre in 2009, again receiving rave reviews; it later travelled to Perth in 2010.
In 2009 James was head dramaturg on Breast Wishes, a musical that toured in 2009, supporting the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
James’s directorial debut was at WAAPA: the project was A Little Touch of Chaos, for which he was commissioned to write the book and lyrics in 2010.
James was dramaturg on the Nick Enright musical The Good Fight for New Musicals Australia; he workshopped A Little Touch of Chaos with New Musicals Australia and has written a new work, a comic farce entitled Acclaim.