Posted by Sean Flynt on 2012-02-10

Noted British actor, director and educator Jason Barnes will join Samford's Don Sandley in directing the Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman Theatre and Dance Series production of Anton Chekov's "The Three Sisters" at Samford University March 1-4.

Barnes' 45-year theater career encompasses performance as well as stage and production management, most notably for the National Theatre of Great Britain.

In 1977 he began 33-year residency as Production Manager at the National Theatre's flexible Courtyard Theatre, the Cottesloe, where until retiring in 2009 to teach and consult full time, he staged over 250 productions, touring many in the UK, America, Africa, Australia and Europe.

As a director and performer, Barnes worked in New Jersey for eight annual productions of Victorian English Music Hall (Vaudeville). He has lectured or worked in twenty American states and taught at England’s principal drama academies, including University of Warwick, Renaissance Drama Department and Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA,) where this July he will receive the honor of Companionship from the school’s founder, Sir Paul McCartney.

Barnes is connected to Samford through Theatre and Dance professor and set designer Eric Olson, who worked alongside him at the National Theatre during a 1993 sabbatical leave. The two are reunited for Chekov's poignant exploration of class, family and meaningful life in the last decades of the Russian empire.

The play will run March 1-3 at 7:30 p.m. and March 4 at 2:30 p.m. in Samford's Harrison Theatre. Tickets are $12 (adults,) $9 (55+) and $6 (students/children). Purchase tickets online at or call (205) 726-2853.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.