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Jennifer Ross Nostrala

Professor of Theatre Arts | Member of the Women's and Gender Studies Faculty
Jennifer Ross Nostrala brings a distinctively collaborative approach to her work as a director and teacher in the theatre department at Simpson College.


Jennifer Ross Nostrala currently serves as the Chair of the Theatre Arts Department.  She has been directing and teaching theatre for over twenty-five years. She teaches the advanced acting and directing courses.  She also teaches Script Analysis, Women and Theatre, Vocations and the Performing Arts, and Playwrighting. A few years ago she created a new May Term course, Agents of Change: Creating Change in the Community Through Performance.  This course is designed to help students investigate a contemporary issue and then develop a performance around that issue as a way to create change in the community.  Recent offerings of this course have focused on raising awareness on campus on sexual harassment and assault.  The students have put together a performance that is used as a part of the orientation for new students on campus.  Jennifer also teaches in our Women’s and Gender Studies program.



Directing, Acting, and Playwrighting
Extensive study in issues related to Women’s and Gender Studies
Experience with Mentor in Violence Prevention



2013   Commendation for Directing & Choreography, Lysistrata Jones, KCACTF
2012   Commendation for Devised Work, Alice’s Trip, KCACTF

2010   Iowa Arts Council Grant for Fat Pig
2009   Commendation for Directing, Back Story, KCACTF

2008   Faculty Award for Campus Leadership, Simpson College

2006   Commendation for Directing, One Flea Spare, KCACTF

2003   Distinguished Teacher Award, Simpson College

2001   Iowa Arts Council Grant for travel to LaMama Umbria workshop, Italy

1998   Distinguished Junior Faculty Award, Simpson College


M.F.A in Directing from The University of Texas at Austin, 1988
B.A. with majors in Theatre Arts and Art from Simpson College, 1985



Simpson College:
            Tartuffe (2017)

            The Comedy of Errors (2016)

            Knowing Joan (2015)

            Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel (2014)
            Lysistrata Jones (2013)

StageWest Theatre, Des Moines, Iowa:

            Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2015)

            Venus and Fur (2014)

            The Shape of Things (2011)

Winterset Stage, Winterset, Iowa:

            The Quiet Man (2012)

Des Moines Social Club, Des Moines, Iowa:

            Fat Pig (2010)

The Vortex, Austin, Texas:

            Hamlet (2007)