Matthew Spangler's plays have been produced on Broadway, off-Broadway, twice in London's West End, at the Arizona Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Playhouse, San Diego Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse (staged reading), New Repertory Theatre, Poets’ Theatre (Boston), Western Stage (Salinas, CA), Theatre Calgary, Gesher Theatre, Liverpool Playhouse, Oxford Playhouse, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, Belfast Opera House, El-Hakawati Theatre, the National Steinbeck Center, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Brighton Festival, Dublin Theatre Festival, Avignon Theatre Festival, and Carthage Theatre Festival, among other theatres in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, Germany, Russia, Israel, Pakistan, India, Palestine, Dubai, and Tunisia.
His most widely produced play is an adaptation of The Kite Runner, which he wrote, with generous input from author Khaled Hosseini, in 2006. Since then, it has been produced at theatres around the world, starting with San Jose State University (2007) and the San Jose Repertory Theatre (2009) where it received five San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Original Script, Best Overall Production, as well as awards for Lighting Design, Scenic Design, and Sound Design.
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; and Marjan Kamali’s novel Together Tea. Full length plays include Tortilla Curtain, adapted from the novel by T.C. Boyle, which received an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award and was a finalist for the San Diego Theatre Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Play; Operation Ajax, which tells the story of the CIA coup in Iran in 1953; Striking Back about the Dunnes Stores employees’ anti-apartheid strike in Ireland; The Story of Zahra from the novel by Hanan al-Shaykh.
Matthew is Professor of Performance Studies at San José State University in the San Francisco Bay Area. 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 also Writer in Residence at the Hinterland Festival of Literature & Arts in Ireland.
He is represented by Mark Orsisi at Bret Adams Ltd. in New York.