Chicago’s newest Fulbright Scholar has a theatrical connection: it’s playwright, professor and Mortar Theatre co-founder Jacob Juntunen, who takes off in several weeks for five months teaching in Poznan, Poland. Juntunen earned his doctorate at Northwestern University in 2007 and co-founded the Off-Loop Mortar Theatre in 2009. He’s also been an adjunct faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago for five years, teaching several courses in the Department of Performing Arts Theatre Program.
His Fulbright Scholarship takes him to Poznan to teach two theater courses to master’s degree students. Once back in the U.S., Juntunen takes up residence this fall in Athens, Ohio where he’ll teach at Ohio University while pursuing a master’s degree in playwriting under Professor Charles Smith, the Chicago-bred playwright who is a member of the Victory Gardens Playwrights Ensemble (see related story). Juntunen also has a fiancée, and somewhere along the line is going to try to find time for a wedding.