Jennifer Nostrala '85

Department Chair of Theatre Arts, Professor of Theatre Arts

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BPAC 109
B.A. Simpson College, 1985
M.F.A. The University of Texas Austin, 1988

I have been directing and teaching theatre for twenty-five years

Recent directing credits include Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and Venus in Fur at StageWest Theatre in DesMoines.  At Simpson I most recently directed Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, and the new musical Lysistrata Jones. In the fall of 2011 I directed Alice’s Trip: A Movement Adventure.   It used Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories to explore the theatre space as the rabbit hole.  Emphasis was placed on movement and it was a thrill to create this show.  The summer of 2001 I directed the premiere of The Quiet Man at The Winterset Stage.

Other projects I have directed include The Shape of Things at StageWest and Fat Pig at the Des Moines Social Club. Last fall at Theatre Simpson I directed the Jacobean tragedy Women Beware Women. Other directing credits at Theatre Simpson include Eurydice, Back Story, The Servant of Two Masters and A Year with Frog and Toad. I adapted Sophocle’s Antigone for a performance with eight actors called Antigone, Speaking Truth. In 2007 I traveled to Austin, Texas to direct my adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the Vortex Theatre. I have also directed at the Old Creamery Theatre and the Texas Shakespeare Festival. I received an Iowa Arts Council mine-grant in 2010. I have also received meritorius achievement certificates in directing from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region V for my productions of Back Story and One Flea Spare. In 2001, with the help of an Iowa Arts Council mini-grant, I had the opportunity to travel to Italy to LaMama Umbria to study with Anne Bogart, Theodora Skipitares, Jean-Guy LeCat among others. I have an MFA in directing from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. from Simpson College. I live in Indianola with my husband, artist and teacher Justin Nostrala, and our two boys.

Spring of 2016 I will direct a play here at Simpson that I wrote while on sabbatical in 2014: Knowing Joan.  In the play a young songwriter, Yolande, is trying to find a way to move forward with her life when she finds herself haunted by Joan of Arc.  Auditions for this project are in December 2015.

Courses: Script Analysis, Women and Theatre, Directing II, Vocations and the Performing Arts, Playwriting, Acting II, Agents of Change: Creating Change in the Community Through Performance, Women Studies Seminar.

Check out some of our past productions.

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