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Born May 1, 1912 in Oakland, California, Clancy began his theatrical career by traveling with the stock companies at age 16. He started college in 1930, enrolling in the newly formed Speech and Drama Department. Jim Clancy was soon touted in the Campus Newspaper as “the best student ever turned out by the Drama Department.” Clancy received his Bachelor’s degree in 1935 and was made a member of the faculty one year later. While teaching at SJSU he simultaneously attended graduate school and received his Masters Degree from Stanford University. His successful academic career was interrupted by WWII during which he became a Captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps Intelligence.

Returning from the European campaign in 1946, he resumed one of the most intense and productive academic careers seen at SJSU, or any university. For several years he was the editor of the Educational Theatre Journal and received a prestigious Ford Foundation in 1959 for outstanding work in theatre.

In 1949 he married Stella Pinoris (above with Jim), a drama student who had received her degree the previous year. The new Clancy family quickly grew with the birth of three children (Patrick, Steven, and Elena). Following his tenure at San Jose State, Dr. Clancy held positions at University of Iowa, Stanford University, Dartmouth (in connection with the opening of the Hopkins Center for the Arts) and Cornell. While at both Dartmouth and Cornell, he started two Equity summer theater companies, which are still operating today. He retired in 1977, but continued to teach and direct at universities in Kansas City and Austin, Texas. He returned to California where he occasionally taught and directed at Santa Clara University, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis and SJSU. Jim Clancy's theatrical legacy at SJSU includes 32 roles as an actor and an astonishing 65 productions as a director. (A sampling of photos from SJSU Clancy productions are displayed above.)

James Clancy, Director

1934 Three to Get Ready            

The Assassin

1953 Eurydice

1935 All For Love


The Sheep Well

1936 Olympia


1954 Volpone

The Beaux Stratagem

1948 Medea

Oedipus Rex

Elizabeth the Queen

The Changeling

Oedipus at Colonus

Weep Jesus

The Wanhope Building


1939 Beggar on Horseback

The Circle

School for Wives

Trouble in My Prayer

King Lear

1955 He Who Gets Slapped

Twelfth Night

1949 Agamemnon

Madwoman of Chaillot

1940 Once in a Lifetime

Love for Love

1956 Each in His Own Way

Henry IV

Rose of the Rancho

Blood Wedding

Heartbreak House

The Sea Gull

The Man of Ashes

Masses and the Man

1950 The Heiress

The Skin of Our Teeth

Hell Bent Fer Heaven

1951 Antigone

Shadow and Substance

Much Ado About Nothing

The Flies

1957 Green Grow the Lilacs

1941 The Father

The Three Sisters




The World is Round

The Torchbearers

Jenny Kissed Me

1958 The Caucasian Chalk Circle

The Rivals

Curious Savage

The Italian Straw Hat

1946 Tonight We Improvise


The Misanthrope

Duchess of Malfi

1952 Nights of Wrath

1953 Eurydice

1947 Doctor in Spite of Himself

Trickery of Scapin

The Sheep Well


James Clancy, Actor

1930 Judas Iscariot

Death Takes a Holiday

1941 Hamlet


1935 Hay Fever

1946 The Glass Menagerie

He Who Gets Slapped


1947 The Guardsman

1931 Queen's Husband

1936 The Guardsman

1948 Androcles and the Lion


There's Always Juliet

Romantic Young lady

1932 Romeo and Juliet

1937 Peer Gynt

King Lear

1933 Lilliom

1938 Squaring the Circle

1950 The Glass Menagerie

1934 Hedda Gabbler

Arms and the Man

1951 Accidentally Yours

Three to Get Ready

Weep Jesus

1952 Trickery of Scapin

School for Scandal

1939 Night Must Fall

1955 Hamlet


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