The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Division of Student Services

Jacob Juntunen

Class year: 1999
Major: English/Playwriting
Company/organization: Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Job title: Head of MFA and PhD in Playwriting
Company URL:

I would love to connect with students. In addition or instead of attending the Schmooze, I am available for one:one meetings during the weekend. Drop me an email and we'll arrange a time to meet. I arrive on Thursday.

How did you get where you are? (e.g., education, brief work history, mentors)

Started at Clackamas Community College, mentored by playwright Sue Mach. At Reed, worked with the theatre dept (Craig Kinzer, Kathleen Worley), and did my creative thesis, a play, with Roger Porter. Lisa Steinman was my academic advisor. Spent time in Portland failing to launch, self-produced a play, then went to Northwestern for a PhD in theatre history. Lived in Chicago for 10 years working with many small theatres (and teaching theatre history adjunct at UIC for money), going back and forth to Poland, eventually going to Poland on a Fulbright. Upon my return, I did a year at Ohio University's MFA program in playwriting before getting my current job at SIU. Since I didn't stay the whole 3 years at Ohio U, I got a Masters instead of an MFA.

What lessons have you learned along the way that you'd like to pass on to current Reed students?

There is no one path. And if you want to make theatre, you can't wait for someone to produce your script, etc., you need to make opportunities for yourself and get seen.

In what ways you think you can help Reed students?

I can help with graduate applications, theatre connections in Chicago, and advice on Fellowships like the Fulbright.