Assistant Professor Melissa Sihra
Assistant Professor Melissa Sihra is the current Head of Discipline (Drama) in Trinity. She was President of the Irish Society for Theatre Research (ISTR) from 2011-2015. She researches and teaches in the field of Feminism, gender, Women in Performance, Playwriting, Dramaturgy and Irish Theatre with special interest in the work of Marina Carr and Lady Augusta Gregory. She was Chair of the annual Lady Gregory Autumn Gathering at Gregory's Galway home of Coole Park in September 2016 and gave a day-long workshop on the life and works of Augusta Gregory at The Abbey Theatre as part of their Canon Camp in May 2016. Melissa is a professional Dramaturg and has worked with Holly Hunter on Carr's By the Bog of Cats at San Jose Repertory Theatre in 2001. She was Dramaturg for the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre Company's production of Carr's Portia Coughlan (2001) and the Chicago Irish Repertory's production of By the Bog of Cats (2001) and Brian Friel's Making History (2002) and G.B. Shaw's John Bull's other island (2002) and facilitated a South Korean production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot at the Samuel Beckett Theatre (2008).She was a consultant for the Abbey Theatre world premiere of Carr's Ariel (2002), and a Script Reader at the Abbey Theatre (1998-2002). She was invited by Professor Jill Dolan to lecture on Irish Theatre at Princeton University (Autumn 2011), where she also participated in a symposium at the McCarter Theatre, Princeton, in conjunction with the world-premiere of Marina Carr's play Phaedra Backwards, directed by Emily Mann. She is a regular speaker at the annual Synge Summer School, and has delivered Keynote Lectures at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, Irvine, the University of Pittsburgh, Villanova University, the University of Glasgow and Helsinki University. In 2007 she was chosen to represent Ireland as part of the Next Generation Leaders Program in South Korea, co-funded by the South Korean Government and the National Strategy Institute. Prior to working at Trinity, she was Lecturer in Drama at Queen's University Belfast (2002-2006) and part-time Lecturer in Irish Studies at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (2000-2002). She was a member of the judging panel of the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1997. She is editor of Women in Irish Drama: a century of authorship and presentation (Palgrave Macmillan 2007) and is currently completing a monograph on the theatre of Marina Carr and recently contributed an essay on Feminism and Women in Irish Theatre to the Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Theatre (2016). Her profile on Marina Carr appeared in The Irish Times in December 2016 ahead of The Abbey Theatre world-premiere of Anna Karenina.
Tel: +353 1 896 2407
Professor Brian Singleton, Samuel Beckett Chair of Drama & Theatre
Professor Brian Singleton holds the Samuel Beckett Chair of Drama and Theatre at Trinity, a Fellow and is Academic Director of The Lir - National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College Dublin. He is President of the International Federation for Theatre Research and former editor of Theatre Research International (Cambridge University Press). He is co-editor (with Janelle Reinelt) of the book series Studies in International Performance published by Palgrave/Macmillan. He serves on the Editorial Boards of New Theatre Quarterly and Contemporary Theatre Review. His research interests include orientalism and interculturalism in performance, as well as contemporary Irish and European theatre. His most recent monograph is entitled Masculinities and the Contemporary Irish Theatre (published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). His other major publications include two books on the life and work of Antonin Artaud, a monograph on Oscar Asche, Orientalism and British Musical Comedy (published by Praeger, 2004), as well as a vast array of book chapters and journal articles centred on his major research interests.
Tel: +353 1 896 1550
Professor Matthew Causey, Professor in Drama and Director of Arts Technology Research Laboratory
Professor Matthew Causey is Professor in Drama, a Fellow and the Director of the Arts Technology Research Laboratory of Trinity College Dublin. He is author of Theatre and Performance in Digital Culture: from simulation to embeddedness (Routledge 2006). Recent publications include the co-editing of The Performing Subject in the Space of Technology: through the virtual towards the real (Palgrave, 2015) which includes his chapter, 'The Right to be Forgotten and the Image-Crimes of Digital Culture' and 'Performance, Identity and the Neo-political Subject' (Routledge, 2014). His essay 'The Object of Desire of the Machine: the biopolitics of the posthuman' is anthologized in Resisting Biopolitics: philosophical, political and performative strategies edited by Wilmer and Zukauskaite (Routledge, 2015). His theoretical writings on performance and techno-culture have been published in Theatre Journal, Theatre Research Int'l, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and TheatreForum among others. In 2015 he was keynote speaker at Ghent University's conference Does It Matter: Composite Bodies and Posthuman Prototypes in Contemporary Performing Arts and the Digital Echoes symposium at CDARE of Coventry University. In 2016 he was the keynote speaker at the Coimbra International Conference On the Virtual at University of Coimbra, Department of Philosophy, Portugal. Funded by the HEA he created the Arts Technology Research Laboratory, which serves as an interdisciplinary postgraduate research centre in the area of art, technology and digital culture. He designed the Arts Strand of the HEA-funded Ireland-wide PhD in Digital Arts and Humanities which partnered Trinity, UCC, NUIM, NUIG and northern partners UU and QUB in a collaborative programme training researchers in new technologies, practices and theories of digital research. Professor Causey is also a digital filmmaker and he has adapted, edited and directed three of Samuel Beckett's televisual works, Ghost Trio, Nacht und Träume and but the clouds. His film, Frank and Marie, was an official selection of both the Boston Irish Film Festival and Dublin's Darklight Digital Festival in 2004. As a musician he has recently produced two releases of original compositions, The Art of Living and Obedientia Civium Urbis Felicitas with his band Tujacques who performed at the Body and Soul stage of Electric Picnic 2012. As a theatre maker his performance work Tall Ships was featured in the Dublin Fringe Festival 2014. His original theatre works including Luminous Bodies, Paradise Regained, The Ecstasy of St. Zero, Retold, which were all chosen as 'Choices' in NYC's Village Voice and were presented in New York at such venues as the Envelope at the Performing Garage, the Open Space in Soho, and Soho Books. His production of Faust, a multimedia interpretation with his research group the Performance Technology Research Laboratory of Georgia Tech where he was Assistant Professor, was staged in Atlanta at 7 Stages.
Tel: +353 1 896 4920
Ms. Christine Poulter, Assistant Professor
Christine Poulter is a director, trainer and mentor. She taught at Birmingham University in the 1970's, was Drama Officer and Deputy Director of Yorkshire Arts in the 1980's working in theatre-making and training throughout. This brought her to Belfast in 1979 to work with Neighbourhood Open Workshop, followed in the 80s and 90s with community plays, The Quest (a project with sculptors, primary schools and performance in nine villages in Co Down) and youth theatre shows in Enniskillen. She is author of Playing the Game. She most recently facilitated The Talking Shop for young theatre goers during the Stamsund International Theatre Festival in Lofoten, Norway.
Tel: +353 1 896 3544
Assistant Professor Miranda Fay Thomas
Miranda Fay Thomas joined Trinity in 2019, having previously taught at UCD, Central School of Speech and Drama, the University of Greenwich, and St Anne's College Oxford. She received her PhD in 2016, having been co-supervised by King's College London and Shakespeare's Globe. From 2017-18, she was postdoctoral research fellow at Shakespeare's Globe on the Read Not Dead rehearsed readings project.
She is an early modernist specialising in theatre history and dramatic afterlives, and has previously published articles and book chapters in Early Modern Literary Studies, The Palgrave Handbook of Shakespeare's Queens, and How and Why We Teach Shakespeare. Her first monograph, published in 2019 with Arden Bloomsbury, is entitled Shakespeare's Body Language: Shaming Gestures and Gender Politics on the Renaissance Stage. This book explores gestures such as spitting, thumb-biting, hand-washing, and stillness as a way of interrogating gender norms in the age of Shakespeare, and considers non-verbal communication both as reactionary outbursts of conservatism as well as acts of resistance.
Her writing on theatre and culture has appeared in the TLS, the Irish Times, and The Independent. Currently, she is editing The Tempest for Arden Performance Editions. Next year, she will be editing the anonymous play, The Taming Of A Shrew, for the New Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Alternative Versions.
At Trinity, she teaches on the Junior Fresh modules Embodied Practices and Theatre History 1, and on the Sophister modules Embodied Shakespeare and Witches, Bitches, Whores, and Shrews (from 2020/21). She welcomes enquiries from students interested in researching the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, particularly in relation to gender, politics, staging conventions, embodiment, production history, or adaptation.
Tel: +353 1 896 1225
Assistant Professor Nicholas Johnson, Director of the M.Phil. in Theatre and Performance and Director of Teaching & Learning (Undergraduate)
Nicholas E. Johnson is a scholar-artist who convenes the college-wide Creative Arts Practice research theme. He is co-founder of the Samuel Beckett Laboratory, where the techniques of the theatre laboratory are used to produce cutting-edge research and practice in relation to Beckett in performance. A director, adaptor, and literary translator, Johnson has used techniques of performance in interdisciplinary research projects including The David Fragments after Bertolt Brecht, Enemy of the Stars after Wyndham Lewis, The Machinewreckers and Masse Mensch after Ernst Toller, The Brothers Karamazov after Fyodor Dostoevsky, Howl after Allen Ginsberg, Three Dialogues after George Berkeley, K. (based on the short prose of Franz Kafka), and The Way of the Language (based on a large archive of non-fiction materials relating to Guantánamo Bay and post-9/11 America). His recent Beckett projects include Cascando with PanPan Theatre Company (Beckett Theatre 2016), No's Knife with Lisa Dwan (Lincoln Center 2015) and Ill Seen Ill Said (ATRL & Antwerp 2015-16). In 2012 he directed Ethica: Four Shorts by Samuel Beckett, presenting Play, Come and Go, Catastrophe, and What Where in Bulgaria, Dublin, the Enniskillen Festival 2013, and Áras an Uachtairáin for World Human Rights Day. He has contributed to The Plays of Samuel Beckett and Staging Beckett in Ireland and Northern Ireland (both from Methuen) as well as Theatre Research International, the Journal of Art Historiography, and Forum Modernes Theater. He co-edited the Journal of Beckett Studies special issue on performance (23.1, 2014) with Jonathan Heron. He has facilitated performance workshops worldwide, including most recently the US, UK, Germany, Turkey, India, Japan, Bulgaria, Morocco, Israel and the West Bank. He is a founding co-director of the Beckett Summer School at Trinity. He won the Provost's Teaching Award (early career) in 2013, and in 2016 he held a visiting research fellowship at Yale University.
Tel: +353 1 896 2295
Ms. Ann Mulligan, Administrative Officer
Tel: +353 1 896 1239
Ms. Rhona Greene, Senior Executive Officer
Tel: +353 1 896 2266
Prof. Eric Weitz, Emeritus Assistant Professor
Professor Eric Weitz is an Emeritus academic member of staff who is also a once and future actor and director. He has published The Cambridge Introduction to Comedy, The Power of Laughter: Comedy and Contemporary Irish Theatre,a number of articles and essays, and contributions to reference works like the Oxford Encyclopedia for Theatre and Performance and the Encyclopedia of Humor Studies. He was the Chair of the Board for Smashing Times Theatre Company, a socially engaged theatre company based in Dublin, and served on the Board of Directors for Collective Encounters, a socially engaged theatre company based in Liverpool, England.
Professor Dennis Kennedy, Fellow Emeritus
Dennis Kennedy is Emeritus Professor and Fellow in Trinity, where he held the Samuel Beckett Chair of Drama from 1994 to 2006. He has twice been a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities in the USA, twice won the Freedley Award for theatre history, received the Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award at the University of Pittsburgh, the Berkeley Fellowship at Trinity College Dublin, and is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and the Academia Europaea (the Academy of Europe). He has organized major international conferences in New York, Dublin, and Singapore, including the large-scale Beckett Centenary Symposium in Trinity in 2006. His own plays have been performed in New York, London, and at regional theatres across the US, and he has frequently worked as a dramaturg at such theatres as the Long Wharf in New Haven, the Lyric Hammersmith in London, and the Shaw Festival in Canada. He also works as a professional director and gives workshops in acting Shakespeare around the globe. In 2005 he directed Shakespeare's As You Like It at the Chinese Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, and in 2006 directed and designed Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle in Dublin.