Who I am

Jeffrey Puukka
Acting teacher, theatre director, drinker of coffee, creator and curator of the And, Not Or podcast.

I appreciate your curiosity!

Photo: Self portrait.

Here is some basic information about me.

I am curious and passionate about actor training, and have worked with actors as a director or teacher for 20 years.

I initiated and have facilitated the highly popular and successful Monday Night Acting Lab at Mt. Hood Community College since 2017. 

I was invited to teach at Metropolitan Performing Arts in 2017, and was asked to develop the Teen Actors Conservatory, a conservatory approach for teen students who wish to focus on acting.

I have frequently been invited to collaborate with Sam Barlow High School’s nationally celebrated Speech and Debate Team as an Interpretation Coach for students working with prose, poetry, or dramatic texts.

I have directed more than thirty productions in the Pacific Northwest over the last twenty years.  Some of my favorite projects include Dracula, Phaedra, David Adjmi’s Elective Affinities (in Portland, Edinburgh, and Cambodia), my own adaptation of Women of Troy, (from Euripides’ plays The Trojan Women and Hecuba), and Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.

I am keenly aware of the need mental health advocacy in our world, and I have collaborated with people of special needs or developmental disabilities as a support professional, or life skills coach.

I am enthusiastic about the mentorship process, and I am always interested in alternative pathways for education and learning.

Some of my other general interests include photography, walking and hiking, gardening, writing, and coffee.

Of all the work I have done, from theatre, to sales, to mental health advocacy, I have discovered I am at my best when I’m working with actors.  Whether I am wearing the professor hat, or working from the director’s chair makes no difference to me. It is the collaboration… The working with that feeds me. In a rehearsal room, a workshop, or in 1:1 Coaching or Consultations, I feel most alive myself when I’m helping people unblock themselves or their creativity, and set their authenticity and confidence free. Isn’t that the life we all deserve? To be authentic, and free? Of the skills I have and the work I can do, that is the work I am best at doing.