Daniel Smith is a dramaturg and theatre historian with research interests in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French theatre, history of sexuality, and translation studies. After studying French Literature at the University of Notre Dame, Dan earned degrees in Theatre from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (MFA) and Northwestern University (PhD). Dan has chaired the Theatre History Focus Group of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and currently serves as an officer in ATHE’s Dramaturgy Focus Group. He has previously taught Theatre Studies courses at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and The Theatre School at DePaul University.
Dan has worked professionally as a dramaturg at several theatres in Chicago, and served as Associate Artistic Director/Resident Dramaturg of Caffeine Theatre from 2010-2012. His translations for the stage include Don Juan by Moliere; Love in Disguise by Marivaux; A Dangerous Liaison by Madame de Beaunoir; and The Horrible Experiment by André de Lorde. He has co-translated and directed Carlo Gozzi’s The Serpent Lady at MSU. He provided an annotated translation of The Imaginary Invalid by Molière for Constance Congdon’s adaptation (Broadway Play Publishing, 2016). Dan has published articles, translations, and reviews in such journals as Performing Arts Resources, The Mercurian, Theatre Research International, Comparative Drama, Didaskalia, Performing Arts Resources, Theatre/Practice and Theatre Journal.
Dan regularly directs plays for the MSU Department of Theatre. His productions of Les Liaisons Dangereuses (2014) and The Misanthrope (2017) have been honored with awards from the Lansing City Pulse. In addition to mentoring student dramaturgs in the department, Dan’s local dramaturgy practice includes productions of 60/50 Theatre Project, Hair, Or, (for Kickshaw Theatre in Ann Arbor), and the upcoming Bacchae. As faculty liaison for Wharton Center’s Young Playwrights Festival, he works with MSU Theatre majors to select finalists from among plays submitted by mid-Michigan high school students.
Dan is also a three-time Jeopardy! Champion (episodes aired February 2009).