Profile for Nic Barilar

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Nic Barilar Pronounce my name

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Assistant Professor
Theatre and Dance
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Specialty area(s)

Theatre History
Drama Literature
Irish Theatre

Brief biography

Nic is in his second year at UWL and is thrilled to be back to work teaching UWL's students! In addition to teaching courses, Nic will be directing this season's production of Dr. Faustus and Virginia Woolf's Orlando.

Nic is a theatre historian, teacher, and artist specializing in Irish theatre and drama, censorship history, and performance theory and practices. He holds a PhD in theatre and performance studies from the University of Pittsburgh. His research is broadly interested in exploring transnational issues in theatre history - how ideas, texts, people, and performances move across and crystalize beyond national borders. For instance, Nic's current book project follows the performances of banned Irish plays from the 1950s and '60s to their eventual performances within and beyond Ireland. Drawing on extensive archival research, the projects recreates performances of these plays and examines how their censorship in Ireland continued to circulate and impact cultural formations within and beyond Ireland. In addition to his research on mobile censorship, Nic is also recently completed two projects that will be published as book chapters in edited collections: one  that re-situates the so-called "theatre of the absurd" within the context of France's decolonial wars in Africa and Asia (co-authored with the University of Edinburgh's Hannah Simpson); and another on the transnational movement of censorship in the 1962 performance of a banned play in Dublin. 

As an artist, Nic has performed a number of production roles across theatre's many disciplines. In 2019, he produced, directed, co-coached the dialects, and choreographed the intimacy for the North American premiere of Máiréad Ní Ghráda's 1964 Irish classic, On Trial -- an experimental drama about the historical abuse and neglect single mothers in Ireland faced in the mid-twentieth century. A proud member of Actors' Equity Association (AEA), Nic has also worked as an actor and singer at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center (Midland, PA), the Pittsburgh Festival Opera (Pittsburgh, PA), the Virginia Samford Theatre (Birmingham, AL), and the Barn Theatre (Augusta, MI).

Current courses at UWL

THA 110: Theatre Appreciation
THA 201: Dramatic Literature and Theatre Arts
THA 210: Foundations of Theatre Production (Script Analysis Component)
THA 250: Theatre Studies I: Antiquity through the 18th Century


BFA - Theatre: Acting, Clarion University of Pennsylvania
BA - English: Film and Drama Studies, Clarion University of Pennsylvania
MA - English Literature, University of Alabama
PhD - Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Pittsburgh


Teaching history

In addition to the above, I've also taught these courses at UWL:
THA 350: Theatre Studies II: 19th Century through the Present
THA 420: Directing

Research and publishing

"Decolonization and the Theatre of the Absurd." Co-authored with Hannah Simpson. In The Routledge Companion to Literature and Theatre of the Absurd, edited by Michael Y. Bennett. Forthcoming from Routledge. 

"Moving Censorship: Memory and Reception in Allan McClelland's Bloomsday in Dublin, 1962." In The Palgrave Handbook of Theatre and Performance Censorship, edited by Anne Etienne and Graham Saunders. Forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan. 

"Beckett's Queer Time of Défaillance: Ritual and Resistance in Happy Days." In Beckett Beyond the Normal, edited by Seán Kennedy, 103-16. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2020.



Nic Barilar, Theatre Arts, authored the chapter "Beckett's Queer Time of Defaillance: Ritual and Resistance in Happy Days" in Beckett Beyond Normal and was accepted for publication by Edinburgh University Press Books. Beckett Beyond the Normal has been re-published in paperback.

Submitted on: Nov. 1, 2022



Nic Barilar, Theatre Arts, served as a respondent for the Brookwood High School's Interscholastic Theatre Festival One-Act Contest. The feedback session was held in Ontario, WI on October 9, 2022.

Submitted on: Nov. 1, 2022