Kirk named Director of Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film

Christina Kirk
Christina Kirk

Kirk named Director of Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film

calendar icon12 Apr 2019    

Lincoln, Neb.—Christina Kirk, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Otterbein University, has been named the Director of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film and the Executive Director of the Nebraska Repertory Theatre. She begins her appointment on July 1, 2019.

“We believe that the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film and the Nebraska Repertory Theatre are on the verge of becoming programs of unique national distinction,” said Chuck O’Connor, endowed dean of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts. “Christina set herself apart from among an outstanding pool of candidates for having the personal and professional qualities we need to build a program for the 21st century. I would like to thank the faculty and the search committee of the School, particularly Professor Emeritus Tice Miller, for their excellent work on this search.”

Kirk has taught at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, since 1992. She has an M.F.A. degree in directing from Columbia University in New York and a B.F.A. degree in acting from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

“It is thrilling to be joining a team of dynamic and engaged artists and educators who are committed to exploring new approaches, new methods, and new technologies for advancing theatre and film in the 21st century,” Kirk said. “There is a palpable sense of creative and generative energy in this community. I am excited to work together to discover what might be possible as we build on the rich traditions of the past while boldly shaping the future. The possibilities are limitless.”

Kirk’s directing credits include The Living Theatre, New Dramatists, assisting Liviu Ciulei at Arena Stage, and numerous productions for Otterbein University Theatre and Otterbein Summer Theatre.

She has performed at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, the Nebraska Repertory Theatre (Something’s Afoot and Charley’s Aunt in 1985), the Illinois Repertory Theatre, CATCO (Contemporary American Theatre Company), Otterbein University Theatre, Otterbein Summer Theatre and in the Joseph Jefferson award-winning Kabuki Medea, directed by Shozo Sato.

She performed the title roles of Claudel and Cleopatra at Columbus Dance Theatre. The production of Claudel received the Greater Columbus Arts Council Artistic Excellence Award, and Cleopatra was nominated for this same award.

Her one-woman show, Conversations with Judith Malina, which premiered at Columbus Dance Theatre, was featured in the March 2006 Theatre Journal.

Kirk replaces Harris Smith, who left Nebraska last summer to become the chair of the Department of Theatre at the University of Utah. Associate Dean Christopher Marks has served as interim director of the Carson School during the 2018-2019 academic year and will resume his full-time duties as associate dean on July 1.