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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

James Al-Shamma

James Al-Shamma

Dr. Jim Al-Shamma is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Belmont University. He completed his undergraduate and graduate education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received a Ph.D. in Dramatic Art, an M.A. in Dramatic Art with a Directing Emphasis, and a B.F.A. in Theatre/Acting. At Belmont University, he teaches theatre history and literature, scriptwriting, improvisation, and other courses, including an honors course on Middle Eastern Culture and Arts. He directs at the University and is on the board of Verge Theatre, a company in residence at Belmont that provides students with the opportunity to work alongside professionals in various capacities, including acting, assistant directing, and designing. His directing credits include The Cripple of Inishmaan for Verge, and the following at Belmont: Our Town, The Servant of Two Masters, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Big Love, The Government Inspector, Fallen Angels, Brainpeople, and As Bees in Honey Drown. He has also taught at Texas A&M University-Commerce, where he directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Dr. Al-Shamma’s principal areas of research are contemporary women playwrights and Arabic, and specifically Iraqi, theatre. His publications include two books on acclaimed American playwright Sarah Ruhl, articles in the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism and The Eugene O’Neill Review, and a co-authored article on early Iraqi theatre in the online journal Arab Stages. He is the co-editor and co-translator of Contemporary Plays from Iraq, an anthology of nine works available for the first time in English.

Contact: james.alshamma@belmont.edu