Professor Profile: Jaclyn Prior

Theatre Department Welcomes Decorated Performance Studies Scholar

This fall, there’s a new professor in the Performing Arts Building as Jaclyn Pryor joins Reed from Haverford College. A highly qualified educator, they received their doctorate and Master of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and their bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

Pryor specializes in performances studies, devised work, and identity-based theories, including queer and transgender theory, critical race studies, and feminist theory. This semester, they are teaching Directing and Theatre History I. Pryor is excited to join Reed because of their deep belief in the Theatre Department and the unique student body, explaining to the Quest, “It’s really rare for a theatre department to really be trying to integrate theory and practice. Usually in theatre departments … the faculty that teach theory and history are separate from the faculty that teach acting and directing … and as an educator, a job where I got to teach all of the things that I care about was very appealing to me.”

Pryor was also drawn to Reed because of its student body, saying “Reed has a little bit of a reputation in the news [of] having a subversive student body, which I actually find appealing. I’m not frightened by it — certainly not yet. And as a queer and trans person, it’s really hard in the academy. The academy is very straight and very white and very a lot of things that I’m interested in dismantling, [so] the idea of being at an institution where there were so many queer and trans people … is appealing to me. It felt like somewhere I could be my full self.”

So far, Pryor has enjoyed meeting their colleagues and learning more about the community. “I found people to be genuinely kind and engaged … there was something about that that felt very welcoming,” they explained. Their current favorite part of Portland, outside of Reed? “The food!”