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Matthew McMahan

Matthew McMahan is a Boston-based performance scholar, dramaturg, and comedian.

Matthew McMahan is a performance scholar, dramaturg, and comedian. He is currently the Assistant Director for the Center of Comedic Arts at Emerson College, where he teaches the history of comedy. He has a PhD in Drama from Tufts University and an MFA in Dramaturgy from Stony Brook University. As a performer, he has worked as a resident cast member at ImprovBoston for the past three years, and as a dramaturg, he has worked with such theatre companies as HowlRound, the Wooster Group, the Atlantic Theatre Company, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and the Boston-based collective imaginary beasts. His research and reviews have been published in Theatre JournalTheatre SurveyTheatre History StudiesThe Journal of Dramatic Theory and CriticismThe New England Theatre Journal, and The Texas Theatre Journal.

three actors onstage, one jumping in the air.
On Bicultural Comedy
Essay

On Bicultural Comedy

An Interview with Herbert Sigüenza

5 January 2020

Matthew McMahan talks to playwright Herbert Siguenza about branching out as a solo writer after years as a member of Culture Clash, writing bilingual comedy, and more.

two actors in costume
Laughing Matters
Essay

Laughing Matters

How Comedy Tells Us Who We Are

14 February 2019

Professor Matthew McMahan talks about the importance of understanding comedy’s theatrical history: how it has evolved, what it says about a society, and why the genre shouldn’t be forgotten in the American theatre.