Spangler, Matthew J

Associate Professor, Communication Studies





Preferred: (408) 924-1373


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Univ Of N Carolina Chapel Hill, 2004
  • Master of Philosophy, Theatre, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, 2000
  • Bachelor of Science, Performance Studies, Northwestern University, 1996
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Performance Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004


Dr. Spangler teaches courses in performance studies. His areas of research and creative work focus on immigration studies, intercultural performance, cultural globalization, Irish studies, documentary theatre techniques, and the adaptation of non-dramatic texts for the stage.

He has published articles in a number of journals and books, some of which include: Theatre Journal, The James Joyce Quarterly, Text and Performance Quarterly, The New Hibernia Review, SIAR: The Journal of the Western Institute of Irish Studies, The South Atlantic Review, The Biographical Dictionary of Southern Writers, The Art of Elizabeth Bishop, and Performing the Crossroads: Critical Essays in Performance Studies and Irish Culture.

Dr. Spangler is also an award-winning playwright and theatre director. His plays have been produced by the San Jose Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Playhouse, San Diego Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse (staged reading), New Repertory Theatre (Boston), Theatre Calgary, Citadel Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, Liverpool Playhouse, 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). 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 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.

For more about Dr. Spangler's work, visit his website at: