Dassia N. Posner
Dassia N. Posner is a theatre historian specializing in experimental Russian and Soviet theatre practice, the history of stage directing, production dramaturgy, and puppetry history and performance. She teaches undergraduate courses in Theatre and Slavic and graduate courses in the MFA in Directing and the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama (IPTD).
Posner’s books include The Director’s Prism: E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant-Garde (2019: Shortlist, Prague Quadrennial Best Scenography and Performance Design Publication Award; 2016: Finalist, TLA Freedley Memorial Award); The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance (co-edited with Claudia Orenstein and John Bell, 2014); and Three Loves for Three Oranges: Gozzi, Meyerhold, Prokofiev (2021: co-edited with Kevin Bartig and associate editor Maria De Simone; 2022: Honorable Mention, ATHE Excellence in Editing Award; 2022: Finalist, TaPRA Edited Collection Award). Her web-based archive companion to The Director’s Prism features over a hundred multimedia Russian theatre sources: www.fulcrum.org/northwestern. Her current book-in-progress is an archival study of the Kamerny Theatre’s innovations and international influence in the artistic and political context of the Soviet 1920s and 30s.
Recent creative scholarship includes translating Three Sisters for a film directed by Monika Gossmann and production dramaturgy at Steppenwolf Theatre Company for Seagull, Grand Concourse, Russian Transport, and Three Sisters, for which she was also Tracy Letts’s dramaturgical translator. Prior to coming to Northwestern, she was the resident dramaturg at Connecticut Repertory Theatre. She has performed as a puppeteer with First Night Boston, the Children’s Free Opera and Dance of New York, Bread and Puppet Theater, Underground Railway Theatre, the Puppeteers’ Cooperative, and Luna Theatre.
PhD, Drama, Tufts University
MA, Drama, Tufts University
BA, Theatre and Russian, Bates College
Books and Digital Humanities
- Three Loves for Three Oranges: Gozzi, Meyerhold, Prokofiev (co-edited with Kevin Bartig and associate editor Maria De Simone; Indiana University Press, 2021)
- The Director’s Prism: E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant–Garde (Northwestern University Press, 2016)
- Web-based archive companion to The Director’s Prism (University of Michigan Press and Northwestern University Press, 2016)
- Dramaturgical translator for Three Sisters, by Anton Chekhov, version by Tracy Letts (Theatre Communications Group, 2016)
- The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance, co–edited with Claudia Orenstein and John Bell (Routledge, 2014)
- “Extraordinary Bodies in Ordinary Spaces: Royal de Luxe in Montréal.” Puppetry International 51 (Spring/Summer 2022): 24-5, 28-30.
- “Unity over Unison: Creating AntigoneNOW in Lockdown.” A Conversation between Margaret Laurena Kemp, Sinéad Rushe, and Roger Ellis; moderated by Dassia N. Posner. Theatre Topics 31.2 (July 2021): E-29-E-35.
- “Nina Simonovich–Efimova: Theatre as Living Sculpture in Motion.” Russian Theatre in Practice, ed. Amy Skinner. (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2019).
- “America and the Individual: The Hairy Ape and Machinal at the Moscow Kamerny Theatre.” New Theatre Quarterly 34, no. 1 (2018).
- “Interpretations: The Stakes of Audience Interpretation in Twentieth–Century Political Theatre.” A Cultural History of Theatre in the Modern Era, ed. Kim Solga. Vol. 6 of A Cultural History of Theatre, ed. Christopher Balme and Tracy Davis (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2017).
- “Baring the Frame: Meyerhold’s Refraction of Gozzi’s Love of Three Oranges.” Theatre Survey 56.3 (September 2015).
- “The Dramaturg(ies) of Puppetry and Visual Theatre.” In The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy, ed. Magda Romanska (Routledge, 2014).
- “Translating into Polyphony: Creating a Dramaturgical Translation for Three Sisters at Steppenwolf.” Theatre Topics 23.1 (March 2013).
Awards and Honors
- 2022: Honorable Mention, Association for Theatre in higher Education Excellence in Editing Award for Three Loves for Three Oranges: Gozzi, Meyerhold, Prokofiev
- 2022: Finalist, Theatre & Performance Research Association Edited Collection Award for Three Loves for Three Oranges: Gozzi, Meyerhold, Prokofiev
- 2020: Karl Rosengren Faculty Mentoring Award
- 2019: Shortlist, Prague Quadrennial Best Performance Design and Scenography Publication Award, for The Director’s Prism: E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant–Garde
- 2017: Finalist, TLA Freedley Memorial Award for The Director’s Prism: E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant-Garde
- 2015–2016: Honor Roll for Undergraduate Teaching, NU Associated Student Government
- 2015: Clarence Simon Award for Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring
- 2014: Cambridge University Press Prize, American Society for Theatre Research
- 2013–2014: Honor Roll for Undergraduate Teaching, NU Associated Student Government
Fellowships and Grants
- 2022: Travis Bogard Artist-in-Residence, Tao House, Eugene O’Neill Foundation
- 2018-19: Fellow, American Council of Learned Societies
- 2018-2019: CHCI-ACLS Fellow, Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities
- 2016: Alumnae of Northwestern Academic Enrichment Grant
- 2014–2015: Faculty Fellow, Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities
- 2012–2015: Undergraduate Research Assistant Program grants
- 2014: Summer Stipend Award, National Endowment for the Humanities
- History of Directing
- Production Dramaturgy
- Puppetry History and Performance
- Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde Theatre
- History of Theatrical Practice
- Play Analysis
- Research Design and Prospectus Writing