Professor of Theatre
"My recent work focuses above all on the translation of contemporary drama, mostly from German, also from French. My translation of Swiss playwright Lukas Bärfuss' The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents has been produced in London and New York, and in 2011 I received grants from PEN and from the Howard Foundation to translate several more plays by Bärfuss. Early in 2014, Red Tape Theatre in Chicago will premiere my translation of hamlet is dead. no gravity by the Austrian writer Ewald Palmetshofer. Other playwrights whose work I've translated include Rebekka Kricheldorf, whose Rosa and Blanca I directed at Knox in 2008. Meanwhile, I continue to pursue research as a theatre historian, particularly in the area addressed by my 2003 book - the composition and behavior of theatre audiences."
Years at Knox: 1998 to present
Ph.D., Comparative Literature, 1995, Princeton University.
M.A., Comparative Literature, 1989, University of California Los Angeles.
B.A., German and French, 1986, University of London, Goldsmiths' College.
European theatre, dramaturgy, theatre history, playwriting.
Selected Professional Accomplishments
Two Exceptional Achievement awards for faculty, Knox College, 2004 and 2013.
PEN Translation Fund Grant, 2011.
Fellowship, George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation, 2011-2012.
Resident, Ledig House International Writers Residency, Omi, New York, 2010.
Fellow, Banff International Literary Translation Centre, 2008.
"Translation as Creative Process: a Conversation with Neil Blackadder," The Mercurian: A Theatrical Translation Review 4.3 (2013).
Translator (from German). "Blackbox," and "Three Paragraphs on Blackbox," Thomas Martin, The Brecht Yearbook/Das Brecht Jahrbuch 35, (2010).
"Art and Morality: The Plays of Igor Bauersima and Rejane Desvignes," and translator (from German), Tattoo by Igor Bauersima and Réjane Desvignes, TheatreForum, 2009.
Translator (from German). The Sexual Neuroses of our Parents by Lukas Bärfuss. Nick Hern Books, 2007.
Performing Opposition: Modern Theater and the Scandalized Audience. Oxford: Praeger Publishers, 2003.
Participation in panel "Translation for the Theater: a hotINK at the Lark/PEN American Center Collaboration," hotINK Festival of International Plays, Lark Play Development Center, New York, April 2013.
"Plays in translation on and off Broadway in the 1960s," working session on 'Center-Staging the 60s,' American Society for Theatre Research conference Montreal, November 2011.
Featured speaker, Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Symposium at the Goethe-Institut Chicago, June 2011.
Participation in panel discussion with playwright Lukas Bärfuss and his translators in symposium "De la page au plateau: Traduire le théâtre," Lausanne, Switzerland, 2010.
"Interpreting Hostile Reception in the Theatre, 1880s to 1930s," ‘Studying Historical Audiences' Reception' workshop, European University Institute, Florence, Italy, June 2007.
Upcoming: translator (from German): hamlet is dead. no gravity by Ewald Palmetshofer, directed by Seth Bockley, Red Tape Theatre, Chicago, January-February 2014.
Director: At Night's End by Motti Lerner (world premiere), Knox College, 2012.
Translator (from German) and director: Rosa and Blanca by Rebekka Kricheldorf, Knox College, 2008.
Translator (from German): The Sexual Neuroses of our Parents by Lukas Bärfuss, Electric Pear Productions, New York, 2008 & Gate Theatre, London, 2007.
Campus & Community Involvement
Elected to Executive Committee, 2010.
Chair, Department of Theatre & Dance, 2007-2010.
London Director, "London & Florence: Arts in Context," ACM program, 2003 & 2007.
What Students Say
"Neil always makes time outside of class to help students with everything from play revisions to monologue coaching. He has a great ability to offer guidance in such a way that allows his students to own their ideas while pushing them to further develop and explore. I always leave conversations with Neil feeling that he genuinely listens and considers what I have to say. He truly cares about his students and has a subtle sense of humor that makes class discussions interesting. A demanding professor in the best sense of the word--Neil makes his students want to challenge themselves."
-Mikah Berky, Theatre Major and Creative Writing Minor