Jeff Barker Professor of Theatre; Department Chair


M.F.A., University of South Dakota
M.A., Northern Illinois University
B.A., Seattle Pacific University

TAC 109

The Iowa Professor of the Year for 2006, Jeff Barker has written more than 50 plays, including "Unspoken for Time," published by Dramatic Publishing, and "Kin: the Trial of Carrie Buck," a finalist for the Arlin Meyer Prize in 2005. Barker’s play "September Bears," about events surrounding 9/11, was featured on the FOX News Channel in 2003. In 2004, the DeWitt Theatre Arts Center opened with "And God Said," a musical Barker created in collaboration with Broadway composer Ron Melrose. This latter play, along with "Terror Texts: The Musical" and many others, is part of the Ancient Hebrew Drama Project. Along with Dr. Tom Boogaart at Western Theological Seminary, Jeff is working to help the world reclaim performance literature drawn directly from the Old Testament.

Also a scholar of the interplay of story and worship, Jeff is the author of The Storytelling Church, which was published by Webber Institute Books, in association with Parson’s Porch Books, in 2011. He co-teaches the "Music and the Arts" course at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, a doctoral-level program in Orange Park, Florida.

THE260 - Drama Ministries Ensemble

A performance group emphasizing preparation of scripts for presentation in worship services and worship-related settings.(1/2 credit)

THE305 - Story and Worship

Christian worship, at its core, is remembering the story of God. This includes biblical stories, personal narratives, the Liturgical Year, church history (global and local), and the story journey of each worship service. This course asks why the church must tell its stories and provides specific tools for including stories within worship. This course is not primarily focused on storytelling as drama, but the role of the dramatic arts will not be overlooked. Students will be invited to seriously consider that the ancient Hebrew people had a dramatic anthology, and the class will examine together practical tools for restaging those biblical works for contemporary culture. (4 credits, alternate years, consult department)

THE312 - Directing

Beginning directors review the guiding principles of theatrical art and then apply these to script selection, development of a prompt script, and the complete rehearsal process. Each student prepares a short play for public performance.Prerequisites: THE113 and215 or permission of instructor.(4 credits)

THE407 - Playwriting: The Full-Length

This continuation of the study of playwriting focuses on the challenges of the long form. The course includes the processes of writing according to classic structural principles, rewriting, formatting and submitting plays for publication.Prerequisite: THE206 or permission of instructor.(4 credits, alternate years, consult department)

Teaching Excellence Award, Northwestern College, 1991