Western Kentucky University theater professor Julie Lyn Barber’s show “Christmas Through the Ages” has been nominated for Best Original Work in the Broadway World 2019 Indianapolis Awards.
Barber said this is the first time one of her plays has been nominated for Best Original Work. “Christmas Through the Ages” has played at the IndyFringe Basile Theatre in Indianapolis each year since 2016.
Barber said the show is fast-paced and features a lot of quick-change comedy.
“The show ... mixes storytelling with short scenes,” she said. “All of the music is previously written – not by me – except for one song, and a medley arrangement of the top 25 Christmas songs of the 20th century in under five minutes.”
Barber said she is grateful for the nomination, saying the show has been “very well received” in Indianapolis. The play will run again Dec. 19-22 at the IndyFringe, she said, and the Charlotte Players in Port Charlotte, Fla., also produced the show during Dec. 5-8.
Barber is now working on new original material.
“I am currently working on an original musical called ‘The Liars Bench,’ which just had a workshop production at WKU and is intended to be performed at the Brown County Playhouse in Nashville, Ind.,” she said. “I will also soon begin work on a musical about the Gennett Record Company in Richmond, Ind., that is expected to be performed in the 2020 Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival.”
Barber discovered theater through her time in dance and has been working professionally in the field since 1991.
“I started writing plays while I was a teacher at the Northwest Children’s Theatre Company in Portland, Ore., because I wanted to be able to suit the works specifically to our students,” she said. “I have written quite a few plays and musicals since then that have enjoyed productions in Oregon and Indiana.”
When not teaching, Barber participates in regional shows doing choreography or directing. Her most recent shows were at The Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres in Nappanee, Ind., working with the Nettle Creek Players in Hagerstown, Ind., and IndyFringe in Indianapolis.
At WKU, she is credited for choreographing “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and stage directing “Guys and Dolls” and “9 to 5.”
Barber also is a freelance writer for Classical Singer magazine and an associate editor of the MTEA Journal.
Her degrees include a doctorate in music from Ball State University, a master’s degree in opera and music theatre from Southern Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
The 2019 Broadway World Indianapolis Awards recognizes shows, productions and other performances that opened between Oct. 1, 2018, through Sept. 30. Voting is now open and runs through Dec. 31, with winners being announced in January.
To vote, visit www.broadwayworld.com/indianapolis.