Timothy Compton

Professor, Spanish

Degrees Held:

  • B.A., Brigham Young University
  • M.A., University of Utah
  • Ph.D., University of Kansas

Began teaching at NMU in 1989

Research and Scholarship:

Starting in 1992 Professor Compton has travelled yearly to Mexico City and has seen an average of 18 plays per year there and has met and interviewed scores of playwrights, directors, set designers and actors.  His reports on 23 theatre seasons have appeared in English and Spanish in several publications, primarily in Latin American Theatre Review and Revista de la Universidad de México.   He has also made presentations and published articles based on those performances, analyzing issues related to Mexican history, the nature of history, the portrayal of Native Americans, the portrayal of the United States, set design and other staging issues, and the art of playbills.

Professor Compton has also published a number of translations, primarily of texts by renowned Mexican writer and cultural figure Ignacio Solares.  Those books include Delirium Tremens (2000), There Is No Such Place (2008), Yankee Invasion (2009)and Letters to a Young Psychologist & The Golden Coin: Freud or Jung? (2014).  He also translated roughly 1/3 of the stories in Peruvian Traditions (2004), by Ricardo Palma, a project he undertook with his late father and Spanish professor, Merlin D. Compton.

Some recent publications:

“Mexico City’s Spring 2014 Theatre Season.”  Fall 2014 in Latin American Theatre Review.  161-173.

“Performance Review of Un puto peón negro chueco: A Mexican Play by a Spaniard, Directed by a Mexican, in Madrid.”  Spring 2014 in Latin American Theatre Review.  183-185.

“Primavera teatral.”  December 2013 (No. 118) in Revista de la Universidad de México.  

                (Mexico City: UNAM).  50-54.  Accessible at 

“Green/Activist Mexican History in Asalto al agua transparente.”  In 25 Years Celebrating Hispanic Culture in the United States: The International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami.  Rizk, Beatriz J. and Echávez-Solano, Nelsy, Eds.  Miami: Ediciones Universal, 2013.  295-300.  


Professor Compton received NMU’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2013, the University's highest faculty honor.

He was named Peter White Scholar at NMU for the 1991-1992 year at NMU.  The modest financial award which accompanied this served as the seed money from which has grown all his research on Mexican theatre.

He has adapted and directed 11 plays in Spanish at NMU.

He created and has spearheaded NMU’s Spanish Language Day every year since 1992.  Close to 8000 area high school students have participated in the day’s competitions and activities over the years.

He has served as Department Head from 2000 - June 2020, as well as during 4 years previous.

He has supervised the student teaching of over 50 student teachers in Spanish, French and German.

About my Teaching:

I love being at NMU so I can teach a wide variety of courses.   I love to see students perform plays in my Hispanic Theatre Performance classes.  I love seeing students learn to communicate in basic Spanish classes.  I love seeing students start to see how interesting and expressive language can be.  I love seeing students come to admire the incredible poetry, theatre, short stories, and novels of Spanish-speaking writers.  I love seeing students learn and admire the accomplishments of the people of Spain and Latin America.  I love sharing the amazing music of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world with my students.  I love seeing students get excited about studying & living abroad.   I love learning about what my former students are doing after they graduate.

Timothy portrait