Skip to main content
Northwestern School of Communication

David Catlin

Associate Professor
70 Arts Circle Drive
Room 5-143
Evanston, IL 60208
Collaborating with NU colleagues Tracy Davis and Marcus Doshi on a new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Great Sea Serpent. Collaborating on an original circus for Actors Gymnasium (WINTER 2023)



Area(s) of Expertise

Acting, Directing, Improvisation, Playwriting
David Catlin

David Catlin is a founding ensemble member of the Lookingglass Theatre Company, the recipient of the 2011 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre and the 2016 MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative & Effective Institutions. While still a senior in Northwestern’s theatre department, David and seven fellow students decided to create a new theatre company that sought “to redefine the limits of theatrical experience and to make theatre exhilarating, inspirational, and accessible to all.” Almost thrity-five years later, Lookingglass has created and produced over seventy world premieres—work that is collaborative, inventive, and transformational. David served as the company’s first co-artistic director (with David Kersnar) and more recently served as artistic director (2003-2010). Other leadership positions with Lookingglass include managing director, interim executive director, and director of artistic development.

Catlin is a theatre-maker who acts, writes, directs, and teaches. Like the work created at Lookingglass, his theatre is ensemble-based, story-centric, and utilizes physical, visual, and aural storytelling in collaboration with a traditional emphasis on character and text. His work has been produced in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Tucson, Baltimore, Miami, Denver, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Syracuse, Louisville, and Princeton, New Jersey.

Catlin has appeared in, directed, or written & directed in thirty-eight productions for Lookingglass. Writing and directing credits include Lookingglass Alice, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and Moby Dick (Joseph Jefferson Award Best Production). Other regional directing credits include Midsummer Night's Dream (Alliance Theatre, Atlanta) and Mr Dickens' Hat (Northlight).

Catlin helped found Dark Harbor Stories, a film development company. He was a producer for (and appeared in) the independent film Humanoid. David can also be seen in Since You’ve Been Gone (Miramax/Film Colony/Lookingglass).


  • BS, Theatre, Northwestern University

Awards, Citations, and Nominations

  • Tony Award (NYC) 2011 Outstanding Regional Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company
  • Lookingglass Spirit Award 2010
  • SALT Award (Syracuse) 2011 Play of the Year – Lookingglass Alice
  • Suzi Award (Atlanta) – Play & Direction (nominations) – Lookingglass Alice
  • Joseph Jefferson (Chicago) – New Work/Adaptation – The Idiot
  • Joseph Jefferson – Best Ensemble – Arabian Nights
  • Joseph Jefferson – Best Ensemble – The Jungle
  • Joseph Jefferson – Direction – West
  • Joseph Jefferson – Best Ensemble – The Odyssey


  • Acting I: Principles of Characterization
  • Acting II: Analysis and Performance
  • Senior Topics in Acting: Actor as Collaborative Creator