Jeffrey Pufahl joined the UF Center for Arts in Medicine faculty from Saskatoon, Canada in 2015 with over twenty-five years of experience in theatre, film, and opera. Jeff's work at UF is focused on Applied Theatre for education, development, and community health. His interest in Brecht and theatre for social change forms the base of his theatre practice and has inspired his research into how theatre can address community issues.
Jeff has spearheaded a number of projects at UF including Ashley's Consent, a multi-media, roving, site-specific theatre experience educating on sexual assault, consent, bystander intervention, and victim blaming. Jeff has won multiple awards for his work on Ashley’s Consent and will present his paper "’Ashley's Consent:’ Using Freire and Boal in sexual assault education” at the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference with Julian Boal this June in Detroit.
Jeff serves as director for the Diversity Project, a multi-year project that explores issues around diversity at the University of Florida through oral histories, interviews, and story circles which are then translated into theater presentations. The first semester of the project just wrapped up with two original student-written plays produced based on 40 interviews with staff, faculty, and students. These plays are available for groups who wish to engage in discussion around issues of diversity on campus.
In addition to the work that Jeff does with the UF Center for Arts in Medicine, he is also a Creative Scholar-in-Residence with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program for 2017-18 as part of the UF Creative Campus Initiative. This residency aims to create long-term partnerships between the UF Center for Arts in Medicine, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, the Center for Women’s Studies, and the Harn Museum. Jeff’s Creative Campus residency will explore the interconnectivity between oral history, the arts and humanities, and social issues on local, national, and global levels with the purpose of engaging students and public in meaningful dialogue around selected themes. During Jeff’s residency, a new course will be developed and piloted: The Oral History Connection: Engaging the Arts and Oral History for Community Dialogue. He also has plans to create an original production in Fall 2017 that will be derived from interviews collected by students who attended the 2017 Women’s March and perform it as part of the Harn exhibit “Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment.” In the Spring of 2018, Jeff will collaborate with The Actors’ Warehouse to create an original site specific performance in tandem with the Harn exhibit: “History, Labor, Life: The Prints of Jacob Lawrence.”
Jeff is directing the first annual Applied Theater for Health Summer Intensive that will coincide with the 16th annual Arts in Medicine Summer Intensive in July. With a focus on using theater to address mental health conditions, Jeff is working closely with Second City Chicago and guest director, Ann Kinnebrew, to create an innovative program. The Applied Theater for Health Intensive runs July 10-21st in Gainesville, FL. Early-registration and scholarship applications are due May 7th. You won’t want to miss out on this experience!