San Jose Repertory Theatre Presents the World Premiere of The Kite Runner

Best-selling novel about the friendship of two Afghan boys is adapted for the stage

SAN JOSE, Calif.--()--San Jose Repertory Theatre will present the world premiere of the stage adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s international best-selling novel, The Kite Runner – a haunting story of friendship and redemption in modern Afghanistan. Adapted by Bay Area resident Matthew Spangler and directed by David Ira Goldstein, artistic director of the Arizona Theatre Company, The Kite Runner runs from March 21-April 19, 2009 at the San Jose Repertory Theatre, 101 Paseo de San Antonio in downtown San Jose. Press Opening is March 27 at 8:00 p.m.

Tickets are available at the San Jose Rep Box Office at 101 Paseo de San Antonio or can be purchased online at or by calling (408) 367-7255.

“When I wrote this book, I thought it would find its niche, most likely among readers who had an interest in the Middle East and Central Asia. I never expected this story to make the impact that it did,” states Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner. “I think it had to do with the universality of the themes. No matter where you are born, what language you speak or what religion you practice there are human experiences that bind us all, and The Kite Runner speaks to those experiences.”

With the world’s attention once again focusing on Afghanistan, the production is as relevant today as when the book was first published in 2003. The novel enjoyed international success, was made into a thought-provoking movie and promises to create a sensation on the stage.

“Its epic structure, powerful moments of high drama and engaging characters make it an ideal story for live performance,” states Playwright Matthew Spangler. “I fell in love with the book and knew right away that it would make an excellent play.”

Khaled Hosseini, author of the international best-sellers The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, was born in 1965 and grew up in Kabul. Hosseini and his family were granted political asylum to the United States and moved to California in 1980. He graduated from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and was a practicing internist when he penned The Kite Runner. In 2006, Hosseini was named a Goodwill Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Matthew Spangler is an assistant professor of Performance Studies in the departments of Theatre Arts and Communication Studies at San José State University. He has adapted more than 30 novels and short stories for productions throughout the U.S., France, England and Ireland.

David Ira Goldstein is the artistic director at the Arizona Theatre Company. He has directed more than 35 productions, including the world premieres of Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Inventing van Gogh, Rocket Man, Private Eyes, Over the Moon and Dracula by Steven Dietz, One Crazy Day by Roger Downy and For Better or Worse by Geoff Hoyle.

The Kite Runner’s outstanding cast from New York City, Los Angeles and the Bay Area includes Lowell Abellon (Young Hassan); Barzin Akhavan (Amir); Rinabeth Apostol (Soraya); Demosthenes Chrysan (General Taheri); Thamos Fiscelle (Baba); Gregor Paslawsky (Rahim Khan); Craig Piaget (Young Amir); James Saba (Ali) and Adam Yazbeck (Assef).

The world premiere production of The Kite Runner is presented by Hitachi Data Systems, co-sponsors are NBC 11 Bay Area and the San Jose Mercury News, the participating sponsor is SanDisk, and it’s supported, in part, by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose.

About the Rep

San Jose Rep is the premier non-profit professional theatre company in the South Bay, presenting six main stage productions each year. As a major contributor to the South Bay’s cultural community for 27 years, the Rep’s mission is to engage, entertain and inspire people. The Rep produces innovative theatrical performances that offer fresh perspectives into the human condition, educational programs that promote life-long learning and outreach initiatives that benefit our diverse community. For more information, visit


For the San Jose Repertory Theatre
Michelle Hou, Communications Manager, 408-367-7202


For the San Jose Repertory Theatre
Michelle Hou, Communications Manager, 408-367-7202