Boris Nikitin, born in Basel and the son of Ukrainian-Slovakian-French-Jewish immigrants, directs in the international independent scene and at German-language municipal theatres. He is the artistic director of the biennial Basel Festival for Documentary and Propagandistic Arts "It's The Real Thing".
As an author, director and essayist, Nikitin has been exploring the representation and production of identity and reality since 2007. The plays seek the boundary between illusion theatre and performance, between documentary, propaganda and fake, e.g. "F for Fake, after Orson Welles" (2008), "Imitation of Life" (2009), "How to win friends & influence people" (2013). In the process, they sometimes completely resolve the contradiction between offensive dilettantism and artistic virtuosity, between concept and grand theatrical gesture. Time and again, the plays are rewritings of classical material, as in "Woyzeck" (2007), "Der zerbrochne Krug" (2010) or "Hamlet" (2016). "Like few others, Boris Nikitin is currently leading theatre to a critical point," writes the German professional journal "Theater heute". Recently, Nikitin has increasingly been dealing with the relationship between art and illness.
In 2017, Nikitin was awarded the J.M.R. Lenz - Dramatist Prize of the City of Jena for his complete works. In 2020, he received the Swiss Theatre Prize.
"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).