Mead Hunter, Artistic Director
Mead Hunter began his theater career as playwright-in-residence for the legendary Storefront Actors’ Theatre, after which he and installation artist Ondyn Herschelle founded Humble Cottage Productions, a company that blurred the distinction between performance art and formal theater. Along the way, Mead wrote four original plays, translated four more, and served as production dramaturg on numerous productions.
He earned an MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from Yale University and a PhD in Critical Studies from UCLA. He has taught performance history and text analysis at UCLA, UC San Diego, and the California Institute of the Arts. He also guest lectures on contemporary theater at institutions around the United States, and frequently consults for various art service organizations. Past consulting projects have included South Coast Rep’s Pacific Playwrights Festival, the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival, University of Iowa’s Festival of New Plays, the Mark Taper Forum’s New Work Festival, the Humana Festival of New American Plays, PlayPenn and the Colorado New Play Summit.
As a journalist and cultural critic, he has contributed to many publications, including Performing Arts Journal and American Theatre. His worked has been anthologized in The Playwright’s Muse (Heinemann Press) and Interculturalism (PAJ Publications). For six years he served as Editor-in-Chief of Parabasis, a triannual journal for playwrights.
For 10 years he served as Director of Literary Programs for A.S.K. Theater Projects in Los Angeles where he commissioned many original scripts, including Naomi Iizuka’s 36 Views, Marlane Meyer’s The Mystery of Attraction, Julie Jensen’s Two-Headed, and The Lively Lad by Quincy Long. He also curated a festival of ensemble-generated theater known as Common Ground, which from 1996-2002 introduced scores of groundbreaking troupes to Los Angeles, including Diavolo Dance Company, Redmoon Theater, Fabulous Monsters and Mabou Mines. Also while in Los Angeles, he curated the popular Hot Properties production series at the John Anson Ford Theater from 1999-2001, and served on the Board of Directors of the Ghost Road Theater Company.
From 2002-2009, Mead was Portland Center Stage’s Director Literary & Education Programs. While at PCS, he was the production dramaturg on world premieres including Outrage and Celebrity Row by Itamar Moses, Steven Drukman’s Another Fine Mess, and O Lovely Glowwormby Glen Berger, and Nancy Keystone’s epic masterpiece Apollo, in addition to curating the company’s annual festival of new work, Just Add Water (JAW). He also taught frequently in PCS’s GreenHouse School of Theater, an educational institution that he founded.
In addition to serving as Professor of Theater History at University of Portland, Mead serves on the Advisory Boards of Portland Shakespeare Project and Literary Arts, and is on the Artistic Council for CoHo Productions.