Dr. Pangallo is an Assistant Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. He holds an MA in Shakespearean Studies from King’s College London and the Globe, PhD in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and is a former Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University.
His primary areas of interest are early modern drama and theater history, with a focus upon connections between text, performance, and reception. He also has an interest in dramatic literature generally and the social and intellectual history of the book. Dr. Pangallo’s research focuses upon the complex connections between plays and the playhouses from which they emerged – their performance practices, modes of authorship and textual transmission, audiences and experiences of reception, and place within their historical context.
As a scholar, he is particularly interested in the edges of theatrical and literary history, both how those edges transform our understanding of the center and how they can serve as entirely new centers themselves. His recently published book, Playwriting Playgoers in Shakespeare’s Theater (2017, University of Pennsylvania Press), is the first in an anticipated trilogy that looks specifically at the edges of early modern theatrical culture in England. Playwriting Playgoers in Shakespeare’s Theater bridges the disciplines of theater history, performance studies, and literary studies, to demonstrate that a group of dramatists from Shakespeare’s time were in fact playgoers translating their love of the stage into their own scripts. The book explores how plays by these working- and middle-class amateur dramatists provide insight into how individuals in Shakespeare’s audience saw and understood their dramatic experiences in the professional theaters and how they thought playmaking in those theaters worked. Approaching their plays as early modern “fan fiction” introduces an entirely new category of evidence for understanding Shakespeare’s theater and allows us to reconstruct the experiences, expectations, and desires of these consumers of dramatic culture. Dr. Lucy Munro (King’s College London) describes Playwriting Playgoers in Shakespeare’s Theater as “an extremely substantial contribution to the field”, with “the potential to reconfigure current debates about theatrical authorship and spectatorship, and it also acts as an invaluable primer on a range of neglected material.”
His current books projects continue this trilogy with Theatrical Failure in Early Modern England, which explores the causes and productive results of aesthetic, commercial, and material failure in domains such as the professional stage, court masque, household entertainment, and university play. The trilogy concludes with Strange Company: Foreign Performers in Medieval and Early Modern England, which surveys the history of performers who toured to England from Spain, Italy, France, Ireland, Scotland, Africa, the Ottoman Empire, and elsewhere, establishing the role that they played in the development of early English theatrical culture and situating England’s theatrical Renaissance as one part of a global and more complexly transnational, transcultural theatrical Renaissance.
Dr. Pangallo was a co-editor of The Amazon, by Edward Herbert, for The Malone Society (2016) and editor of Thomas May’s The Tragedy of Antigone for The Malone Society (2016) and Walter Mountfort’s The Launching of the Mary for Digital Renaissance Editions (forthcoming). He is a contributing editor for The Collected Works of Thomas Heywood (Oxford UP, forthcoming), preparing editions of The English Traveller and The Royal King and the Loyal Subject, and he is the assistant editor for the New Variorum Shakespeare edition of Titus Andronicus (MLA).
Dr. Pangallo’s publications have appeared in journals such as Review of English Studies, English Literary Renaissance, Early Theatre, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England (forthcoming), Early Modern Literary Studies, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Shakespeare Newsletter, Translation and Interpreting Studies, and Notes & Queries. He has contributed chapters to the collections Divining Thoughts: Future Directions in Shakespeare Studies (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007), The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare (Oxford UP, 2012), A New Companion to Renaissance Drama (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017), Early British Drama in Manuscript (Brepols, forthcoming), and Practicing Shakespeare: Explorations from the Blackfriars Stage (Fairleigh Dickinson Press, forthcoming). He is a contributor to the Lost Plays Database and The Shakespeare Standard. He has presented numerous invited lectures and at numerous academic conferences, including meetings of the Renaissance Society of America, the Shakespeare Association of America, the British Shakespeare Association, the MLA, the Northeast MLA, the Society for Textual Scholarship, the London Forum on Authorship Studies, and at the American Shakespeare Center.
Dr. Pangallo has designed and taught courses in early modern literature, dramatic literature, theater history, and book history at Virginia Commonwealth University, Bates College, Mount Holyoke College, Westfield State University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Salem State University.
He has been the recipient of grants from the Bibliographical Society of the United Kingdom, The Malone Society, and the Shakespeare Association of America, as well as a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship and Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, and his scholarship has been recognized with a “Best Essay in Theatre History” prize from the journal Early Theatre and the 2011 Open Paper Competition prize from the Shakespeare Association of America.
Outside of his academic pursuits, Dr. Pangallo is a theatrical director and dramaturge and has worked for Salem Theatre Company as its founding artistic director, Rebel Shakespeare Company, the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies, and the Globe Theatre in London. He is also an award-winning book-collector.