Jo Palazuelos-Krukowski

Graduate Student


Jo Palazuelos-Krukowski is a PhD candidate, Fulbright scholar and Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She earned a Bachelors in Anthropology from Grinnell College. She holds a Masters in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was an Advanced Opportunity Fellow and winner of the Mellon Foundation International Studies Grant.

Jo chose to pursue her doctorate after founding an expatriate theatre troupe in South Korea, where she has regularly presented her work as an actor and playwright. She has worked as a producer for the Peabody Award-winning storytelling nonprofit the Moth, as an assistant director for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and as a creative consultant for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her research has been published by the RSC and by Bloomsbury. Jo's doctoral research centers on spectrality, folklore, aurality, and cross-cultural theatre. Her dissertation focuses on constructions of the nation and representations of the ghost in Australian horror radio. Her MA thesis considers the performance of the supernatural in nineteenth century kabuki as a vehicle for articulating visions for social empowerment on the late Edo stage. She utilizes the educational approaches of Sanford Meisner and Viola Spolin as a means of fostering civic engagement through community performance.

In 2022 Jo directed her original play Spectral Frequencies: Supernatural Tales from Australian Horror Radio at UC-Santa Barbara. The mainstage show was born out of her dissertation research and was presented as part of the department’s 2022 winter season. Through Isla Vista Arts and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Centre, Jo has directed Much Ado about Nothing and the Spanish Golden Age classic La Vida es Sueño for Shakespeare in the Park. She also headed the Nuestra Voz bilingual youth summer theatre program for underserved middle and high school students in 2021.

She has served as assistant director for Julie Fishell’s production of Tartuffe and Irwin Appel’s Julius Caesar and Antony & Cleopatra cross-over drama Immortal Longings. Jo has regularly taught as instructor of record for Introduction to Acting, a reader for Introduction to Playwriting, and a teaching assistant for Vickie Scott’s Introduction to Theatre Design. She also leads the undergraduate professional development organization ProLab at UCSB, which aims to empower young artists to navigate the theater and entertainment industries after graduation.

Jo's work on ghost performance as a prism for articulating cultural constructions of belonging was awarded the Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace in 2017. She received UC-Santa Barbara’s Graduate Student Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2019. Jo was awarded a Fulbright for the 2022-2023 academic year. In Melbourne, she’s worked with the collections at the National Film & Sound Archives, the State Library of Victoria, and the Arts Centre Melbourne to produce exhibitions, workshops, and staged readings to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of Australian radio broadcasting.