Northwestern theatre presents Mama D

“Mama D,” a new play by Jeff Barker, will be presented by Northwestern College theatre April 19–21 and 26–28 at 7:30 p.m. in the England Theatre of the DeWitt Theatre Arts Center.

Barker, who teaches theatre at Northwestern, is directing the comedy he authored for his wife, Karen Bohm Barker, who will play Mama D, “a larger-than-life woman out to change the culture one playful, joyous moment at a time,” says Barker of his lead—both the character and the woman who will play her.

Mama D is a high school English teacher whose love of language leads to poetry-laced detentions for students who’ve committed grammar infractions. She’s a literary instigator who tests the patience of her tongue-tied principal and uses fiery rhetoric that could lead to litigation when the school burns down.

Eight students will join Bohm Barker on stage. Senior Brian Brandau, Osage, Iowa, plays Bob Bailey, the principal, who Mama D refers to as “top dog,” and Erin Anderson, a junior from Ossian, Iowa, plays Joon, a fellow teacher. Senior Julia Cure, Wray, Colo., plays Mama’s mother.

Mama D’s students are played by senior Daniel Sikkema, Hospers; juniors Tiemen Godwaldt, Mishawaka, Ind., Ali Sondreal, Huron, S.D., and Alex Wendel, Charles City, Iowa; and sophomore Renee Eisenhour, Milford, Ind.

Audience members will also find themselves in Mama D’s classroom and could be called on, says Barker. “You may want to brush up on the difference between similes and metaphors,” he advises with a chuckle, “and extra credit for memorizing a few lines of poetry.”

Tickets for “Mama D” are $7 for adults and $4 for students. The DeWitt Theatre box office opens April 9 for Theatre Patrons; it is open April 10–28 for the general public.

Tickets can be reserved by visiting the box office between 4 and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday or between noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday. The box office can also be reached by phone, 712-707-7098, or email,

Theatre-goers can view an exhibit of work from the Iowa Watercolor Society in DeWitt Theatre Lobby while attending “Mama D.” The traveling show, sponsored by the Orange City Arts Council, will include a “meet the artists” night on April 28.

View the trailer: