Emeritus Company Members

Jacob Juntunen
Founding Managing Director

Jacob Juntunen is the Founding Managing Director of Mortar Theatre. He was named a Senior Network Playwright at Chicago Dramatists for 2010-2012; he was also Playwright in Residence at Scrap Mettle SOUL, Uptown Chicago’s only theatre for development, from 2006-2008. Further recognition includes a Fulbright Award to teach theatre at Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland) from February to July 2011; a Community Arts Assistance Program (CAAP) grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Illinois Arts Council; the Agnes Nixon New Play Award; and finalist status for the Sundance Screenwriters Workshop and the Christopher Brian Wolk Award. The Driehaus Foundation selected his play Under America for submission to the Sundance Institute Theatre Program Chicago Roundtable, and the script also received Lee Blessing and Tennessee Williams Scholarships, providing him with creative residencies at the Timberlake Playwrights Colony and the Sewanee Writers Conference, respectively. Jacob’s plays have been produced in Houston; Austin; Ithaca; Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; and in his current theatrical home, Chicago. There, his work was staged or developed at theatres such as Mortar, Chicago Dramatists, the side project, Prop Thtr, Caffeine, Infamous Commonwealth, and others. Chicago dramaturgical credits include TUTA, New Leaf, Circle, Infamous Commonwealth, and Steep theatres. His short film Breaking Bread was produced by ½-Off Productions and may be viewed in its entirety on IMDB. A high school dropout, Jacob trained as a playwright with Edward Albee at the University of Houston and attended Clackamas Community College (A.A. 1996), Reed College (B.A. 1999) and Northwestern University (Ph.D. 2007). He taught theatre history at the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) for six years and writing at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago (SAIC) for three. In summer 2011, Jacob will attend DAH Theatre’s “Passing the Flame” conference and then will participate as a director at DAH’s International School in Belgrade, Serbia.


sara_todeSara Tode
Founding Member

Originally from New Hampshire, Sara holds an MFA in Acting from Penn State University.  She is currently working on the one-woman showThe D-Cup Diatribes, creating a total of 7 unique and distinct characters.  She was seen in Mortar Theatre Companies 2010 inaugural production of Inherit the Whole.


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