Matthew Francis is an actor, writer, and teacher based in San Francisco. His one-man play about the struggle to reconcile faith and sexuality, The Gospel According to Matthew, received its world premier at the New York International Fringe Festival. Gospel has subsequently been performed across the country and a film of the solo show is viewable on the MEDIA page. Matthew is the star and writer of the web series Dog Days (dogdaystheseries.com) which he created in collaboration with the Los-Angeles-based filmmaker, Joe LaRue.
His most recent theater project is a collaboration with the award-winning choreographer Yayoi Kambara and her dance company KAMBARA+. The project explores issues of homelessness in San Francisco and features Matthew’s performance of interviews he conducted. The piece is entitled “The Bridge: Part I & Part II” and videos of the performances can be seen on the MEDIA page or the KAMBARA+ website.
Matthew has also developed and performed many solo cabaret shows as a part of Society Cabaret’s last several seasons in San Francisco. Singing everything from pop music to Broadway show tunes to French Art Songs, he weaves it all together with his signature storytelling and humor.
His acting work includes: (at the American Repertory Theater) Cleomenes in The Winter’s Tale, George in Scott Zigler’s production of All My Sons, and Boodkin in Yuri Yeremin’s Ivanov. Other credits include: the international tour of Julie Taymor’s The King Stag, a leading role in Holes Before Bedtime, a rock musical, and co-creator of Gone Missing by The Civilians which ran off-Broadway.
He is a graduate of Stanford University, where he developed a one-man show under the tutelage of Anna Deavere Smith entitled She Just Stopped Breathing, which concerns the loss of his mother at age 13. He was subsequently awarded a Golden Grant from Stanford to create a one-person docudrama about twins and Twinsburg, Ohio (he is an identical twin himself). For House Arrest, Ms. Smith’s docudrama exploring the relationship between the press and the presidency, Mr. Francis traveled with Ms. Smith through the South to conduct interviews about black church burnings and with the Christian Right at the Republican National Convention and is featured in her books, Talk to Me: Travels in Media and Politics and Letters to a Young Artist. He was also Ms. Smith’s first teaching apprentice at New York University.
He has worked and taught in theaters and institutions across the country including: Virginia Tech, NYU Abu Dhabi, Pepperdine University, Arena Stage, the A.D. Players, the American Repertory Theater, and the Institute for the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard University. A classically trained singer, Mr. Francis studied at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, France. He also holds an M.F.A. in acting from the Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University/Moscow Art Theater School.
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