Assistant Professor of Theatre
"My main area of interest is the representation of homosexual visibility on stage. My research examines how playwrights at the Caffe Cino, a small New York coffeehouse that pioneered the 1960s Off-Off-Broadway movement, presented homosexual characters in their plays. This research interweaves social and cultural history with themes of sexual identity to expose how topics of gender expression, social oppression, communication codes, camp perception, and characteristics of affirmation coalesced around textual bodies of performance in the 1960s, thereby facilitating explicit homosexual diversity on stage."
Years at Knox: 2009 to present
Ph.D., Theatre History, Theory, and Literature, 2008, Indiana University.
M.S., Education, Curriculum and Instruction, 2004, Indiana University.
B.A., Theatre Arts, 1997, Brigham Young University.
Theatre history, directing, American alternative theatre, Gay and Lesbian Theatre, postmodernism, historical Off-Off-Broadway, rise of the modern director, drag narratives and the performed body.
Selected Professional Accomplishments
Philip Green Wright-Lombard College Prize for Excellence in Teaching for Tenured Faculty, Knox College, 2012.
Career Enhancement Grant, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 2012.
Faculty Travel Grant, Knox College, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Research Travel Grant, Department of Theatre, Indiana University, 2008 and 2009.
Research Travel Grant, College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University, 2008.
Hubert C. Heffner Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Theatre, Indiana University, 2006.
Theatre and Drama Teaching Assistantship, Indiana University, 2004-2008.
School of Education Teaching Assistantship, Indiana University, 2002-2004.
1st Place Director of Region III Drama Championship Team, Salt Lake City, 2001 and 2002.
2nd Place Director of State Drama Championship Team, Salt Lake City, 2001.
Outstanding Directing Award (Best Play), UHSAA, Salt Lake City, 2000 and 2001.
Review of The Afterlife of Ophelia. Eds. Kaara L. Peterson and Deanne Williams. Texas Theatre Journal 9.1 (2013): 122-24.
"Coming Out at the Caffe Cino: Emancipation from the Dramatic Closet." In Public Theatre and Theatre Publics, edited by Robert Shimko and Sara Freeman, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2012): 176-185.
Review of Tender Fires: The Spiritual Promise of Sexuality, by Fran Ferder and John Heagle, Ecumenica, A Journal of Theatre and Performance 2.2 (2009): 109-110.
Review of Theatres of Independence: Drama, Theory, and Urban Performance in India since 1947, by Aparna Bhargava Dharwadker, Modern Drama 49.4 (2006): 541-543.
"Exaggerating the Myth: Camp Performance at the Caffe Cino in H.M. Koutoukas's Medea, or Maybe the Stars May Understand." Mid-America Theatre Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, March 2013.
"The 'Pass-the-Hat Theatre Circuit': Working for Pittance Off-Off-Broadway." Mid-America Theatre Conference, Chicago, Illinois, 2012.
"Caffe Cino: A Landmark of American Gay Theatre." Mid-America Theatre Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 2011.
"Coming Out at the Caffe Cino: Staging Lanford Wilson's The Madness of Lady Bright." Mid-America Theatre Conference, Cleveland, Ohio, March 2010.
"'I don't really know the procedures': Sexual Codes and the Elimination of Class in 1960s Gay Bathhouses." Mid-America Theatre Conference, Chicago, Illinois, March 2009.
"Freeing the Animal Within: Dismantling ‘The Day of Resurrection' in Ibsen's When We Dead Awaken." Southwest/Texas Popular and American Culture Associations Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 2009.
Director, Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts, Knox College, 2013.
Director, The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht, Knox College, 2013.
Director, Under Construction by Charles Mee, Knox College, 2012.
Director, The Serpent by Jean-Claude van Itallie, Knox College, 2010.
Director, Euripides' Medea translated by Robin Robertson, Knox College, 2010.
Co-Chair, Emerging Scholars Symposium, Mid-America Theatre Conference, 2011-2013.Panel Chair, "Out of the Ruins and Nothingness: Myth, Identity and Place," Mid-America Theatre Conference, 2013.
Panel Chair, "Hidden Truths, Rocky Roads, and Something New: Working to Make History," Mid-America Theatre Conferece, 2012.
Panel Chair, "Radical Company: Challenges and Methodologies of Alternative Performance Collectives," Mid-America Theatre Conference, 2011.
Peer Reviewer, Journal of Homosexuality, 2010.
Panelist, Gay and Lesbian Religion and Culture forum, Indiana University, 2003 and 2004.
Campus & Community Involvement
Member, Academic Standing Committee, 2011-present.
Member, Assessment Advisory Group, 2011-present.
Volunteer, Knox Prairie Community Kitchen, Galesburg, 2013.
Volunteer, Art in the Park, Galesburg Civic Arts Center, Galesburg, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Advisor, Academic Student Advising, 2010-present.Panelist, New Faculty Orientation, 2013.
Panelist, "Art and Media: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Violence," Office of Student Development, 2013.
Member, Faculty Search Committee in Anth/Soc, 2012.
Panelist, New Faculty Ford Seminar, 2010.
Co-organizer, "Beating the Pavement: Theatre and Dance, from College to Career," Fall Institute, 2009.
Volunteer, Writing on the Wall (WOW) project, Bloomington, 2004.
What Students Say
"Professor Jeff Grace embodies the liberal arts spirit by making connections between theatre and other disciplines. His classes follow the schema for theatre introduced in Ancient Rome: teach and please. He teaches the art and history of theatre; he teaches care and enthusiasm for learning. His passion for theatre is infectious, whether your life revolves around theatre or you're just filling your Arts requirement."
-Franzesca Mayer, Theatre Major and Studio Art and German Minor
"Jeff Grace is my ultimate inspiration. The passion that he exudes on a daily basis is unparalleled, from his sincere enthusiasm for his course subjects, to his desire to effect society through the most moving pieces of theatre that I have ever had the honor to be a part of. Jeff is constantly full of knowledge to teach you, wisdom to impart, ideas to share, witty remarks...and opinions, which he doesn't mind telling you, because he wants to hear what yours are too."
-Avery Wigglesworth, Theatre Major and Creative Writing Minor