Michael Zampelli, S.J.
A member of the Santa Clara faculty since 1998, Father Michael Zampelli teaches courses in the history/literature area of the department. In addition to teaching in the Performance and Culture sequence, he regularly offers the following courses: Gender and Performance, Commedia dell’arte and the Career of Comedy, Antitheatricalism Seminar, and Medieval Theatre.
Michael earned the PhD in Drama from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. His dissertation, under the direction of Professor Virginia Scott, explored the 17th century commedia dell’arte in relationship to religious antitheatrical prejudice by considering the work of the actor/dramatist Giovan Battista Andreini (1576-1654). This work has continued to animate his research and writing. Articles on the commedia dell’arte, Andreini, and antitheatricalism have appeared in Theatre Survey, Text and Presentation, and Religion and Theatre. He has also contributed essays on pre- and early modern performance to the following volumes: From Rome to Eternity: Catholicism and the Arts in Italy, ca 1550-1650, ed. Pamela M. Jones and Thomas Worcester (Brill, 2002); Hrotsvit of Gandersheim: Contexts, Identities, Affinities, and Performances, ed. Phyllis R. Brown, Linda McMillin, and Katharina Wilson (University of Toronto Press, forthcoming); “‘Lascivi Spettacoli’: Jesuits and Theatre (from the Underside).” The Jesuits II: Cultures, Sciences, and the Arts, 1540-1773, ed. John O’Malley, Gauvin Bailey, Steven Harris, and T. Frank Kennedy (University of Toronto Press, 2005).
In conjunction with his teaching and research, Michael also directs. Most recently he collaborated with Kristin Kusanovich (Dance) and Gregory Dale Schultz (Director of Liturgy and Music) on a production of Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses. Most recent past credits include Diana Son’s Stop Kiss, Carlo Gozzi’s The King Stag, and Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s opera, The Death of Saul and Jonathan. He also had the great privilege of directing the modern premiere of the 1685 Jesuit opera, Patientis Christi Memoria by Johann Bernhard Staudt. This professional production was produced in Boston in 2002 under the auspices of the Jesuit Institute at Boston College and in collaboration with John Finney and Boston’s Ensemble Abendmusik. In March 2006, again in collaboration with Finney and Ensemble Abendmusik, Michael directed two Rome productions of the Jesuit mission opera San Ignacio de Loyola (Domenico Zipoli, Martin Schmid, and anonymous composers), originally written in the mid-18th century for the Paraguayan Reductions. The productions were staged in the Sala Petrassi of Rome’s Parco della Musica and at the Jesuit Church of Sant’Andrea al Quirinale.
Currently, Michael is working on papers exploring (1) Jesuit attitudes toward the professional theatre, and (2) the theatre’s spiritual functions—particularly in the lives of gay people and those consistently marginalized by mainstream religions. He is a member of the American Society of Theatre Research (ASTR), the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) the Renaissance Society of America (RSA).
AB English 1982 Georgetown University
MA Humanities 1986 Fordham University
MDiv Theology 1992 Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley
STM Theology 1993 Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley
PhD Drama 1998 Tufts University