Jules Odendahl-James Director of Engagement

Born in Missouri, raised in Arkansas, schooled in theater (MFA) and performance studies (MA and Ph.D.) in Texas and North Carolina, Jules has been active in the Triangle theater-making scene for over 25 years. She joined Duke’s Thompson Writing Program as a post-doc in 2005. From there, she served as Theater Studies’ resident dramaturg. In 2014, she became the first Director of Academic Engagement for the Arts & Humanities within the Academic Advising Center. In that role, she advised students; co-directed the Story+ summer research program; taught in FOCUS; and provided a range of support for arts & humanities curricular programs, DEMAN (Duke’s Entertainment, Media, Arts Network), and health humanities and disability studies working groups/conferences. Jules was an Artistic Associate with Durham’s storied Manbites Dog Theater from 2014 until its closure in 2018. She is a co-founder of Bulldog Ensemble Theater and Theater Book Club, the latter being a collaboration with Duke alum and creator of the Artist Soapbox podcast, Tamara Kissane (T ’94). Jules joined Duke Arts in May 2024.

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