Mead K. Hunter launched his theater career as playwright in residence at Storefront Actors Theatre in Portland, Oregon, and like most theater folk, went on to take a turn at nearly everything job description the field encompasses. 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, University of Iowa 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 as well as commercial entities.
For 10 years he served as Director of Literary Programs for A.S.K. Theater Projects in Los Angeles where, among other duties, he commissioned many original scripts, including Naomi Iizuka’s 36 Views, Mayhem by Kelly Stuart, Marlane Meyer’s The Mystery of Attraction, and The Lively Lad by Quincy Long. While in L.A., he also curated the popular Common Ground Festival, which introduced numerous companies to the region including RedMoon Theater and Diavolo Dance Company.
From 2002-2009, Mead was Portland Center Stage’s Director Literary & Education Programs. While at PCS, he was the production dramaturg on many world premieres (including Celebrity Row by Itamar Moses, and Glen Berger’s O Lovely Glowworm), in addition to curating the company’s annual festival of new work. Beloved dramaturgical endeavors elsewhere include the world premieres of Sam Hunter’s The Whale at Denver Center, The Huntsmen (by Quincy Long) for Portland Playhouse, The Monster Builder (by Amy Freed) and Ithaka (by Andrea Stolowitz) for Artists Repertory Theatre, Amy Freed’s Shrew! at SCR’s Pacific Playwrights Festival, and of course getting to work with Doug Langworthy on the Henry VI plays for the Play On! project.
Today Mead is a professor in the Performing Arts Department of the University of Portland, where he teaches theater history, dramaturgy and script analysis, and recently directed Naomi Iizuka’s Good Kids. He is also an associate editor for Methuen Ltd., working currently on the forthcoming Methuen Guide to Contemporary Drama. Mead is especially proud to be serving as the artistic director of The New Harmony Project, a play development organization dedicated to supporting new works for performance that reflect the resilience of the human spirit.