Boris Nikitin, born in Basel and the son of Ukrainian-Slovakian-French-Jewish immigrants, is a theatre director, author and curator of the biennial festival "It’s The Real Thing – Basel Documentary Platform".
For over thirteen years, his productions, texts and happenings have been dealing with the representation and production of identity and reality. They are border crossings between illusion theatre and performance, between documentary and propaganda. Nikitin's works, many of which tour internationally, are raw, frontal, yet always precisely composed and always searching for the boundaries and breaking points of the aesthetic. "Like few others, Boris Nikitin is currently leading theatre to a critical point," writes the German professional journal "Theater heute". The Zurich daily newspaper "Tagesanzeiger" writes: "The Basel director pushes the genre of documentary theatre to its limits." In his last plays and texts, Nikitin increasingly deals with the relationship between art and illness. In 2017, Nikitin was awarded the J.M.R. Lenz Drama Prize of the city of Jena for his complete works. In 2020 he received the Swiss Theatre Prize. His play "Attempt on Dying" was invited to the Swiss Theatertreffen in 2021. His play "First Season. 20 Years Big Brother" was invited to the Mülheim Theatre Days as one of the seven best German-language plays of 2021.
Boris Nikitin was the holder of the Christoph-Schlingensief Visiting Professorship at the University of Bochum in 2018/2019. He also taught at the University of Frankfurt and the School of Arts/Zurich.
"It is the hidden possibilities, a potentiality that remains in the space of the possible, for the sake of which Nikitin builds his experimental arrangements. His theatre invites us to think in the existing beyond the existing as well as its negation about what may come: different from what we expect, critical in every sense, without reason, may be clumsy, in any case beyond the known." (Laudatio Lenz Prize, by Nikolaus Müller-Schöll, Professor of Theatre Studies at the Goethe University Frankfurt).