Neil Blackadder

NY May 06

Professor of Theatre,
Knox College

Translator of drama and prose from German and French, specializing in contemporary theatre:

Theatre research




Faculty profile
on Knox website


Office: (309) 341-7502
Cell: (309) 299-0184

Knox College Box K-93
2 E. South St.
Galesburg, IL 61401
PO cover MS Eliz etc SNP NHB

Theatre research


Performing Opposition: Modern Theater and the Scandalized Audience (Praeger, 2003)

A study of the hostile initial audience response to certain key European plays between the 1880s and the 1930s (Hauptmann’s Before Sunrise, Jarry’s Ubu Roi, Synge’s Playboy of the Western World, O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars, and several plays and operas co-written by Brecht during the Weimar Republic).  I analyze the scandals provoked by these works in the contexts of changing norms of audience behavior and the evolution of theatrical practice.

Reviewed in Modern Drama, Theatre Journal, Theatre History Studies, Brecht Yearbook, New Theatre Quarterly
Particip@tions, Theatre Survey & Choice

Selected articles, chapters, reviews:

Forthcoming: “’The best contemporary theatre is international’: plays in translation on and off Broadway in the 1960s,” invited submission for projected book of essays edited by James M. Harding and Cindy Rosenthal.

“Translation as Creative Process: a Conversation with Neil Blackadder,” The Mercurian: A Theatrical Translation Review 4.3 (2013).

"Lies of the Drama," review of Donald Margulies' Time Stands Still and Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind, [Hunter College online theater review], March 2010

Performance review: Waves devised by Katie Mitchell after Virginia Woolf's novel, and Martin Crimp's Attempts on her Life directed by Katie Mitchell, Theatre Journal, March 2008

Book review: Bertolt Brecht’s Dramatic Theory by John J. White, Text & Presentation 2007

Performance review: Lessing’s Emilia Galotti directed by Michael Thalheimer, Theatre Journal, May 2006

“What’s so great about new plays?” LMDA Review (The Newsletter of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas) 16.1 (Fall 2005/Winter 2006)

“Merdre! Performing Filth in the Bourgeois Public Sphere,” in Filth: Dirt, Disgust, and Modern Life, ed. William A. Cohen and Ryan Johnson (University of Minnesota Press, 2005)

“Shakespeare on Stage in Pre-War Germany: From the Memoirs of Fritz Kortner,” The Upstart Crow 23 (2003)

“A Decade in Helms Country: North Carolina’s Manbites Dog thrives with homegrown support,” American Theatre March 1998


Knox College:

Director:  Peloponnesus by Tim J. Lord, staged reading for New Plays Festival, 2013

Director:  At Night's End by Motti Lerner, trans. Yoni Oppenheim, 2012

Director:  Mary Stuart by Friedrich Schiller, trans. Peter Oswald, 2011

Director:  Exit the King by Eugène Ionesco, trans. Donald Watson, 2011

Director: Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, trans. Kristin Johnsen-Neshati, 2009

Director: Tartuffe by Molière, trans. Richard Wilbur, 2008

Director and translator: Rosa and Blanca by Rebekka Kricheldorf, 2008; see also

Director: Nora by Ingmar Bergman, adapted from Henrik Ibsen's A Doll House, 2006

Director and co-translator (with Carl R. Mueller): Round Dance by Arthur Schnitzler, 2005

Director and translator: staged reading of Dog, Woman, Man by Sibylle Berg (inspired by a story by Yael Hedaya), 2002

Co-director (with Robert Whitlatch): The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare, 2002

Co-director (with Elizabeth Carlin Metz): War and Peace, adapted from Leo Tolstoy by Helen Edmundson, 2001

Director and co-translator (with Colin Duckworth): Chamber Theatre: Five Plays by Jean Tardieu, 1999


Dramaturg: 24Seven Lab workshop, New York, July-August 2005

Script-reading: member of Literary Wing of Lark Play Development Center; also script-reader for New York Theatre Workshop and Flea Theater, New York, summer-fall 2005

Dramaturg: Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein, directed by Jeff Storer, Duke University, 1996

Dramaturg: Oscar Over Here by Romulus Linney (world premiere), directed by Jeff Storer, Duke University / Manbites Dog Theater, 1995

Dramaturg: Measure for Measure, directed by Devon Allen, Duke University, 1994


Theatre professor at Duke University 1994-98, Knox College 1998-

Areas of specialization include dramatic literature and theatre history, dramaturgy, and playwriting

Courses currently taught on a regular basis (descriptions):
THTR 151/ENG 123 Foundations of Theatre and Drama
THTR/ENG 209 Beginning Playwriting
THTR 251 Dramaturgy
THTR/ENG 309 Playwriting and Screenwriting Workshop
THTR 351-353 World Theatre and Drama I - III
THTR/ENG 386 Theatre and Society

Last updated:
January 6, 2014