Matthew Spangler is a playwright, director, and professor of performance studies based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His plays have appeared at the San Diego Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse (staged reading), New Repertory Theatre (Boston), Theatre Calgary, Citadel Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, Liverpool Playhouse, Oxford Playhouse, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Brighton Festival, the National Steinbeck Center, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Avignon Theatre Festival, among other theatres and festivals. His adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner received five San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle Awards: Best Original Script, Best Overall Production for a 300+ seat theatre, as well as awards for Lighting Design, Scenic Design, and Sound Design (produced by the San Jose Repertory Theatre; directed by David Ira Goldstein). The play has also been nominated for and received a number of other awards.
His other plays include one-person shows of James Joyce’s Dubliners and Finnegans Wake; A Paradise It Seems, an adaptation of John Cheever’s short stories; Mozart!, a musical theatre adaptation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s letters; as well as stage adaptations of John Steinbeck’s fiction; Ernest Hemingway’s short stories; Thomas Wolfe’s The Lost Boy; Clyde Edgerton’s Where Trouble Sleeps; and T.C. Boyle’s Tortilla Curtain (recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, and finalist for the San Diego Theatre Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Play).
Some of Matthew’s recent directing credits include an adaptation of T.C. Boyle’s short story “Killing Babies” for Word for Word Performing Arts Company at the Z Space in San Francisco; Martin McDonagh’s The Lonesome West for Wordshed Productions in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; McDonagh’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore for San José State University; Judy’s Veramendi’s The Empty Chalices, a play based on the writing of Uruguayan poet Delmira Augustini, which he co-directed at the Next Theatre in Evanston, Illinois; and David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross for the San Jose Stage Company.
He has also written articles on the adaptation of literature for the stage, Irish theatre, and intercultural theatre that have appeared in a number of journals and books, some of which include: Theatre Journal, The James Joyce Quarterly, The New Hibernia Review, SIAR: The Journal of the Western Institute of Irish Studies, Text and Performance Quarterly, The South Atlantic Review, Nineteenth Century Literature, The Biographical Dictionary of Southern Writers, The Art of Elizabeth Bishop, and Performing the Crossroads: Critical Essays in Performance Studies and Irish Culture.
His book Staging Intercultural Ireland: New Plays and Practitioner Perspectives (co-edited with Charlotte McIvor) was published by Cork University Press in 2014.
Matthew is a Professor of Performance Studies at San José State University in California. He holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph.D. Performance Studies), Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland (M.Phil. Theatre), and Northwestern University (B.S. Performance Studies).
He is represented by Mark Orsisi at Bret Adams Ltd. in New York.