Dassia Posner

Dassia N. Posner is a theatre historian specializing in Russian avant-garde theatre, the history of directing, production dramaturgy, and world puppetry history and performance. Her books include The Director’s Prism: E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant-Garde (2016; Finalist, TLA Freedley Memorial Award) and The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance (co-edited with Claudia Orenstein and John Bell, 2014). Her web-based archive companion to The Director's Prism, the development of which was supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, University of Michigan Press, and Northwestern University Press,features over a hundred multimedia Russian theatre sources: www.fulcrum.org/northwestern. Her current book project, The Moscow Kamerny Theatre: An Artistic History,examines the Kamerny Theatre’s collaborations, innovations, and international creative influence in the political and artistic context of the Soviet 1920s and 30s. Her articles have appeared in New Theatre Quarterly, Theatre Survey, Theatre Topics, Slavic and East European Performance, Communications from the International Brecht Society, and Puppetry International.

Recent creative scholarship includes production dramaturgy at Steppenwolf Theatre Company for Grand Concourse (2015), Russian Transport (2014) and Three Sisters (2012), for which she was also Tracy Letts's dramaturgical translator. Prior to coming to Northwestern, she was the resident dramaturg at Connecticut Repertory Theatre (2009-2011). She has performed as a puppeteer with First Night Boston, the Children's Free Opera and Dance of New York, Bread and Puppet Theater, Underground Railway Theatre, the Puppeteers' Cooperative, and Luna Theatre.

Posner's work has been recognized with fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Harvard University, the Council on Library and Information Resources/ Mellon Foundation, the Boston Cultural Council, and Puppeteers of America. She studied at the Moscow Art Theatre School and is a graduate of Tufts University and Bates College. She is an ACLS-CHCI Fellow at Northwestern’s Kaplan Institute for the Humanities for the 2018-19 academic year.


PhD Drama, Tufts University
MA Drama, Tufts University
BA Theatre and Russian, Bates College

Recent Publications


Articles and Chapters

Recent Awards and Honors

  • 2017: Finalist, TLA Freedley Memorial Award for The Director’s Prism: E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant-Garde
  • 2015–2016: Honor Roll for Undergraduate Teaching, NU Associated Student Government
  • 2015: Clarence Simon Award for Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring
  • 2014: Cambridge University Press Prize, American Society for Theatre Research
  • 2013–2014: Honor Roll for Undergraduate Teaching, NU Associated Student Government

Recent Fellowships and Grants

  • 2018-19: Fellow, American Council of Learned Societies
  • 2016: Alumnae of Northwestern Academic Enrichment Grant
  • 2014–2015: Faculty Fellow, Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities
  • 2012–2015: Undergraduate Research Assistant Program grants
  • 2014: Summer Stipend Award, National Endowment for the Humanities



  • History and Theory of Directing
  • Production Dramaturgy
  • Research Design and Prospectus Writing
  • Russian Theatrical Revolutions
  • History of Western Theatrical Practice


  • History of Directing
  • Puppetry History and Performance
  • Russian Theatrical Revolutions
  • Production Dramaturgy
  • Text and Performance Analysis
  • Theatre in Context

Dassia Posner

Associate Professor, Theatre, Slavic Languages and Literatures; Director, Interdisciplinary PhD program in Theatre and Drama (on leave 2018-19)




70 Arts Circle Drive
Room 5-172
Evanston, IL 60208