Nic Barilar - PhD Student


MA, English Literature, The University of Alabama, 2015

BA, English: Drama and Film Studies, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, 2013

BFA, Theatre: Acting, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, 2013


Nic is a PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh in the department of theatre arts and performance studies. His research interests include twentieth-century Irish theatre and drama in Ireland and the diaspora; theatre censorship; and the politics of aesthetics. Currently, Nic is working on an article on the political dynamics between audience and performer in Samuel Beckett’s late plays. He has also written and presented research on the representations and dramaturgy of violence across multiple geographies, historical periods, and theatrical genres.

Nic is a scholar/practitioner and has held a variety of production positions. Here at the University of Pittsburgh, he directed Beckett’s short plays “Footfalls” and “Catastrophe” and was the assistant director for Pitt’s production of Hair. Nic is an Equity Membership Candidate with Actors Equity Association and has performed professionally in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Alabama. Favorite past roles include “Rooster” in Annie (Virginia Stamford Theatre) and “The Historian/Frenchie/Forgetful Guard” in Monty Python’s Spamalot (The Barn Theatre). Nic has also worked as a scenic painter for over two dozen productions. In 2010, he was recognized for outstanding achievement in projection design by The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for his work on Clarion University’s production of RENT.  In 2014, he was the dramaturg for the University of Alabama’s production of Merrily We Roll Along.

This summer, Nic will be working as a Resident Artist at the Pittsburgh Festival Opera, singing roles in two operas and serving as assistant director for their Rodgers and Hammerstein revue, If I Loved You.

At the University of Pittsburgh, Nic has taught and assisted with introductory courses in acting, theatre, and performance studies. Prior to coming to Pitt, Nic taught courses in American and British literature and rhetoric/composition. He has also led workshops on stage dialects, performing non-musical theatre songs in musical theatre settings, and using Shakespeare’s First Folio as an acting tool. Nic is also extremely proud to have founded the drama club at his high school which now presents a play every year for the community of Punxsutawney.


Violent Bodies, Violent Acts Working Group. Co-convener with Vicki Hoskins. The American Society for Theatre Research. Atlanta, GA. 16-19 November 2017.

“‘Just genuine pure filth!’: Censorship, Sex, and the Queer Politics of Failure in Happy Days.” Samuel Beckett Society Conference. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. 27-29 July 2017.

“Negotiating Local and Transnational Amateur Performance in the World Premiere of O'Casey's The Drums of Father Ned.The American Society for Theatre Research. Amateur Acts Working Group. Minneapolis, MN. 3-6 November 2016.

“Theatre of Terror: Re-thinking Foucault’s Spectacle of the Scaffold in Yussef El Guindi’s Back of the Throat.” Comparative Drama Conference. Baltimore, MD. 31 March – 2 April 2016.

“Beckett and Censorship; or, ‘It must mean something or they wouldn’t keep it.’” South-Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference. Samuel Beckett Society Panel. Atlanta, GA, 7-9 November 2014.