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Professor Dennis Kennedy

Fellow Emeritus (Drama)


Dennis Kennedy is Emeritus Professor and Fellow in Trinity College Dublin, where he held the Samuel Beckett Chair of Drama from 1994 to 2006. His books include The Spectator and the Spectacle: audiences in modernity and postmodernity (2009), Shakespeare in Asia: contemporary performance (edited with Yong Li Lan, 2010), and The Oxford Companion to Theatre and Performance (2010, revised edition 2011). Other works include The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance (2 vols., 2003), Looking at Shakespeare: a visual history of twentieth-century performance(second edition, 2001), Foreign Shakespeare (1993), Granville Barker and the Dream of Theatre (1985), and Plays by Harley Granville Barker (1987). He was an advisory editor for The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2001). His novel, Fossil Light, was published in 2023. His essays have appeared in numerous books and journals and he has delivered papers and lectured widely on theatre and performance subjects around the world, from Los Angeles to Shanghai and from St Petersburg to Kyoto. Previously he was Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh, and has held distinguished visiting professorships at the University of California Santa Barbara, the Chinese Central Academy of Drama, the National University of Singapore, the Salzburg Seminar, McMaster University, the University of Victoria, and the University of Wisconsin, and was Senior Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Karachi in Pakistan. In 2010 he was a Fellow at the international research institute "Interweaving Performance Cultures' in Berlin. He has twice been a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities in the USA, twice won the Freedley Award for theatre history, received the Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award at the University of Pittsburgh, the Berkeley Fellowship at Trinity College Dublin, and is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and the Academia Europaea (the Academy of Europe). He has organized major international conferences in New York, Dublin, and Singapore, including the large-scale Beckett Centenary Symposium in Trinity College Dublin in 2006. His own plays have been performed in New York, London, and at regional theatres across the US, and he has frequently worked as a dramaturg at such theatres as the Long Wharf in New Haven, the Lyric Hammersmith in London, and the Shaw Festival in Canada. He also works as a professional director and gives workshops in acting Shalespeare around the globe. In 2005 he directed Shakespeare's As You Like It at the Chinese Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, and in 2006 directed and designed Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle in Dublin. He also writes fiction; his short stories have been published in numerous literary magazines and journals.
  Dramatic/Theatre Arts   History and theory of the spectator   History of scenography and directing   Interculturalism   Performance Theory   Performing Arts   Political theatre   Theatre History
 The Persistence of Orientalism

Details Date
DISTINGUISHED VISITING APPOINTMENTS:University of California, Santa Barbara, Distinguished Visiting Professor, January-April 2008. Chinese Central Academy of Drama, Beijing, Distinguished Visiting Director, April-June 2005. National University of Singapore, Meyer Fellow, March 2003. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Halls Visiting Scholar, November 1997. University of Victoria, Visiting Orion Professor, February 1995. McMaster University, Hooker Distinguished Visiting Professor, September 1994.
Chair, Committee for the Study of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication, Royal Irish Academy 2014-18
Board of Advisors, Centre for International Theatre and Performance Research, Royal Holloway, University of London 2010-
Board of Advisors, Asian Shakespeare Intercultural Archive (A-S-I-A), a web-based archive of media 2009-
Corresponding Scholar, Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada 1998-2002
Board of Directors, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin 1996-2003
Board of Advisors, Quantum Theatre, Pittsburgh 1990-2000
Frequent external examiner, assessor, and reviewer in UK, Canada, and USA. various
Board of Advisors, the New Rude Mechanicals, New York 1987-1992
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Fluent Medium Medium
Details Date From Date To
Academia Europaea, American Society for Theatre Research, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Dramatists Guild, International Federation for Theatre Research, International Shakespeare Association, Royal Irish Academy, Shakespeare Association of America
Dennis Kennedy, '"The Woman on the Fifth Floor"', Antioch, Antioch Review, 2019, 682 - 694, Fiction and creative prose, PUBLISHED
The Open-Stage Movement in, editor(s)Arnold Aronson , Routledge Companion to Scenography, Abingdon, Routledge, 2018, pp243 - 248, [Dennis Kennedy], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Global Shakespeare and Globalized Performance in, editor(s)James Bulman , Oxford Handbook to Shakespeare and Performance, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017, pp441-457 , [Dennis Kennedy], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Preface: On Memorials in, Bi-qi Beatrice Lei, Judy Celine Ick, and Poonam Trivedi , Shakespeare's Asian Journeys: Critical Encounters, Cultural Geographies, and the Politics of Travel, Abindon, Routledge, 2017, [Dennis Kennedy], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Dennis Kennedy, The Oxford Companion to Theatre and Performance, Reprint with corrections, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016, Book, PUBLISHED
Dennis Kennedy, 'Dutchtown', New Letters, 2015, -, Fiction and creative prose, PUBLISHED  URL
Dennis Kennedy, ''Underway Replenishment' (fiction)', 2014, -, Notes: [], Fiction and creative prose, PUBLISHED  URL
Dennis Kennedy, 'Mrs Gomez and Father Murphy (fiction)', 2014, -, Fiction and creative prose, PUBLISHED  URL
Dennis Kennedy, 'Learning French (fiction)', 2014, -, Fiction and creative prose, PUBLISHED  URL
Dennis Kennedy, 'Art Lesson (fiction)', 2014, -, Notes: [], Fiction and creative prose, PUBLISHED

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Kennedy, Dennis et al., The Beckett Centenary Symposium, April 2006, 2006, Trinity College Dublin, Meetings /Conferences Organised, PUBLISHED
Dennis Kennedy, The Beckett Centenary Symposium, April 2006, 2006, Trinity College Dublin, Meetings /Conferences Organised, PRESENTED
Kennedy, Dennis , The Bard in China, Around the Globe, 21, 2005, p34 - 35, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Kennedy, Dennis, Shakespeare and Modern Popular Culture , Review of Shakespeare and Modern Popular Culture , by Douglas Lanier , Around the Globe, 23, (spring), 2003, Review, PUBLISHED
Kennedy, Dennis Gibson, Melissa, William Archer, Review of William Archer, by Peter Whitebrook , Theatre Survey, 35, 1994, Review, PUBLISHED
Kennedy, Dennis, The Social Significance of Modern Drama, Review of The Social Significance of Modern Drama (re-issue), by Emma Goldman , Theatre Three, 5, 1988, Review, PUBLISHED
Kennedy, Dennis, Granville Barker, Review of three books on Granville Barker, by Eric Salmon, Jan McDonald, Christine Dymkowski , Theatre Journal, 39, 1987, Review, PUBLISHED
Kennedy, Dennis, Royal Shakespeare Company, Review of Antony and Cleopatra and The Changeling, Theatre Journal, 31, 1979, Review, PUBLISHED
Kennedy, Dennis, Betrayal at the National Theatre, London, Review of Betrayal , Theatre Journal, 31, 1979, Review, PUBLISHED
Kennedy, Dennis, Free Shakespeare, Review of Free Shakespeare, by J.R. Brown , Theatre Journal, 28, 1976, Review, PUBLISHED


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Award Date
Royal Irish Academy (2005), Academia Europaea (the Academy of Europe, 2004), Fellow of Trinity College Dublin (1998), Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award, University of Pittsburgh (1994), George Freedley Award for theatre history (1993, 1985), Office for Advanced Drama Research award for playwriting (1977).
Theatre and performance history and theory, especially in 19th and 20th century Europe. History and theory of the spectator. Shakespeare in performance. Scenography (stage design). Theatre directing and dramaturgy.