Instructional Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts
Matthew Shifflett is a theatre historian and writer who has worked professionally as a playwright, a dramaturg, and an actor. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland--College Park. He has previously taught at Georgetown University and Montgomery College and has led acting workshops at Shepherd University. He is a member of the American Society for Theatre Research, the Mid-America Theatre Conference, and the American Theatre and Drama Society.
Dr. Shifflett's historical research investigates the role of theatrical performance in articulating regional, racial, and national identities in colonial and early America. He has presented this work at a number of national conferences in the field of Theatre and Performance Studies. He has also taught several semesters on issues of race, gender, and ethnicity in American theatre and performance culture. In 2012, he accepted a grant from the American Society for Theatre Research to continue this work.
Dr. Shifflett's artistic work has also followed an interest in regional identity. He has written and performed short historical pieces for a number of Virginia-based organizations, and his first full-length play, Matoaka, was a re-telling of the Pocahontas story that incorporated new ethnohistorical research. Internationally, he has worked with the DAH Teatar to create work that merged bits of local and national history from a geographically diverse cast of performers. His work has been produced at a number of professional theatres and at the Sibiu International Theatre Festival in Sibiu, Romania.