Nicholas Johnson
Human+ Programme Supervisor
Nicholas Johnson
Professor of Drama
Research Theme: How the performance of interpersonal “presence” translate to the digital realm.
Keywords: Performance studies, interactivity, representation, digital performance of self, creative experiments

Nicholas E. Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Drama and 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 “Virtual Play” with V-SENSE (first prize, New European Media Awards, 2017), “Beckett’s First Play” with Dead Centre (ATRL/National Theatre 2017), “Cascando” with Pan Pan 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 Contemporary Theatre Research, 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 TCD and a co-founder of the new Trinity Centre for Beckett Studies. He won the Provost’s Teaching Award (early career) in 2013, and in 2016 he held a visiting research fellowship at Yale University.