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Julie Lyn Barber, D.A.

Dr. Barber is Assistant Professor and Head of Musical Theatre in the Department of Theatre at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Previously she was BFA coordinator and Associate Professor in the the Department of Theatre & Dance at Western Kentucky University. In addition to her work in higher education, she has taught dance, theatre arts, and music to students of all ages for over 20 years. She regularly teaches master classes in Spolin improvisation, musical theatre techniques, singing, as well as given presentations on the importance of providing failure-training opportunities for students, the integration of singing and dancing techniques, training transgender singers, and challenging gender bias in entertainment.


​​Julie Lyn Barber is an AEA membership candidate, equally comfortable in musical theatre, physical comedy, drama and Shakespeare. She performed the role of "Berenice" in Cabaret Poe every October 2009-2018 with Q Artistry (Indianapolis, IN). She has appeared with Vancouver B.C.'s Theatre Under the Stars as "Maria" in West Side Story (which earned her the E.V. Young Award for Theatre), and with Portland Oregon's Northwest Classical Theatre Company as "Julia" in Two Gentlemen of Verona. While in Portland, she co-founded the American Heritage Theater Project, toured with Angels: The Next Generation, and worked at Portland Center Stage (Gypsy), Sylvia's Dinner Theatre (Nunsense), and Broadway Rose (Once Upon a Mattress), among others. Other favorite roles include "Miss Adelaide" in Guys and Dolls (Canterbury Summer Theatre), "The Witch" in Into the Woods (Nettle Creek Players, Hagerstown, IN), and "Narrator" in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (The Round Barn at Amish Acres, Nappanee, IN). Non-musical theatre roles include "Juliet" in Romeo and Juliet, “Old Woman” in Ibsen’s The Chairs, and “Emily Dickinson” in The Belle of Amherst. She was most recently seen on stage. as "Jaques" in the Richmond Shakespeare Festival Production of As You Like It.


Julie Lyn Barber is a Canadian coloratura soprano, who has appeared as a soloist with a number of ensembles in Canada and the United States, including the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra, Portland Oregon’s Trinity Consort under the baton of Eric Milnes, and Muncie Indiana’s East Central Indiana Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Douglas Amman. She has performed with Oregon Lyric Opera, Portland Opera Association, The Amherst Early Music Festival, and Dayton Opera Association. Opera roles include "Sophie" in Massenet's Werther (Ball State Opera, Muncie, IN), “Queen of the Night” in Mozart's Magic Flute (Taylor Opera Theater, Upland, IN), and “Juliette” in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (Marjorie Lawrence Opera Theatre, Carbondale, IL). Her solo oratorio repertoire ranges from Carissimi to Britten and includes the American premiere of Andrew Carter’s Musick’s Jubilee, with the Southern Illinois University Orchestra and Chorale under John Mochnick in 1997. She can be heard on a number of recordings, including The Songs of Cabaret Poe, and Like Winter Waiting, available through Oregon Catholic Press. She has twice won the Audrey Rooney Bach Competition Encouragement Award and numerous NATS competitions, including the Irma S. Cooper Award. She was a finalist for the American Prize in Voice (Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award) in both the opera and art song categories, and has twice been a finalist in the Bel Canto Chorus Regional Artist Competition. While a student at Ball State University she won the BSU Concerto Competition and Graduate Voice Competition. In 2014 she was the recipient of a Homer Wickline and Conrad Seamen Memorial Grant from the Pittsburgh Concert Society. In 2005, she was awarded an Astral Career Grant to participate as one of twelve fellows in Early Music Vancouver’s Baroque Vocal Programme headed by Ellen Hargis and Steven Adby. In 2021 she was a quarter-finalist for the American Traditions Vocal Competition and a finalist for the American Prize in voice (Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award in Voice (Art Song).

Music Director

Dr. Julie Lyn Barber has served as music director for many schools and theatre companies in Oregon (American Heritage Theater Project, Cathedral School, Valley Catholic High School) and Indiana (Taylor University Theatre, Nettle Creek Players, Round Barn Theatre, Muncie Civic Theatre, Monroe Central High School, Farmland Dinner Theatre, Indyfringe). Representative productions include Into the Woods, Honk!, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Ragtime, Cats, The Robber Bridegroom, Secret Garden, The Rocky Horror Show, A Christmas Carol (Menken) and Seussical. Recent music direction projects included The Fantasticks at Nettle Creek Players (Hagerstown, IN), Guys and Dolls at The Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres (Nappanee, Indiana), and Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical (Western Kentucky University).

Stage Director

As a stage director, Dr. Julie Lyn Barber's experience ranges from opera to children’s theatre. She has directed outreach productions for the Bloomington Early Music Festival of Indiana and the Marjorie Lawrence Opera Theatre in Carbondale, IL and several productions for Nettle Creek Players (Hagerstown, IN) and IndyfringeOther directing credits include Working, and Snoopy: The Musical (American Heritage Theater Project, Portland, OR), Clue: The Musical, and Rick Lewis' G.I. Jukebox (Farmland Dinner Theatre, Farmland, IN), and three American one-act operas: Menotti's The Telephone, Moore’s Gallantry and PDQ Bach’s The Stoned Guest (Ball State University). While at WKU she directed Guys and Dolls, 9 to 5: The Musical, and Neil Simon's Fools. She will direct Hot 'n' Cole at Purdue Fort Wayne in April 2024. 


Juile Lyn Barber holds an Elementary Executant Certificate in Ballet from the Royal Academy of Dancing, and frequently choreographs opera, musical theatre and theatre productions. Recent choreography credits include Hair and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, KY), Ring of Fire  for the Brown County Playhouse (Nashville, IN), Hoosier Harmony and Whodunit for Nettle Creek Players (Hagerstown, IN), and Kiss Me Kate at Taylor University (Upland, IN). Other choreography credits include Tapestry (Sylvia's Dinner Theater, Portland, OR), Big River (American Heritage Theater Project, Portland, OR), Cats (Muncie Civic Theatre, Muncie, IN), and When Pigs Fly  and Nunsense Ah-Men (triangle theatre productions, Portland OR),


Julie Lyn Barber is a produced playwright who has received two Indiana Arts Commission grants to write and produce plays and musicals, and two to write and present concert series in State Parks. She has written many stage adaptations of fairy tales in the British panto style, including Briar Rose: The Beauty in the Sleeping Wood, and The Faerie's Secret Name (Rumpelstiltskin), which were produced at the Minnetrista Faeries Sprites and Lights Festival (Muncie, IN). Two of her plays have won inclusion in the juried festival, DivaFest of Indianapolis: the ten-minute fable, Tamlane, and the one-act musical parody, Madwomen's Late Nite Cabaret.Her one-act play, Down That Road Again, was selected for inclusion in the juried, Q Artistry Playwright's Festival in 2011, and her musical, Christmas Through the Ages has enjoyed productions across the country.


Julie Lyn Barber holds a Doctor of Arts degree in music from Ball State University in Muncie Indiana. She received her undergraduate training at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and her Masters degree in opera and music theatre from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She also holds a Grade VIII Piano Certificate from the Western Conservatory of Music, and an Elementary Executant Certificate from the Royal Academy of Dancing. She has participated in workshops with Paul Sills (Spolin improv), Antonio Fava (Commedia dell' arte), Ann Baltz (Musical Improvisation), Julianne Baird & Ellen Hargis (Early Music). She has completed certification in the Somatic Voicework (Jeannie LoVetri) vocal training method and has begun work in the Estill Method of voice training, which is ongoing.


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