And the Oscar Goes to…Eric Barr

By Sorya Neang, Student Intern of Chass College Computing
April 27, 2009

Actor, writer, director, and professor are some of the roles that Eric Barr, chair of the Department of Theatre, has played while at UCR. Now he can add another: recipient of the 2008-2009 Distinguished Campus Service Award from UCR Academic Senate. For over thirty years Barr has been of service to UC Riverside and has made a tremendous impact on his department, the college, and the campus. He has been the chair of the Theatre Department for 29 years and, under his leadership, the program, faculty, and course offerings have grown dramatically. Working with other faculty he designed and established UCR's MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts. He was also the creator and founding director of the Palm Desert MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts. Between the two programs there are over 35 graduate students engaged in innovative and exciting creative activity. Barr was also the director of the UCR Arts-Bridge Program which sent students into the community to teach the arts at local area schools, K through 12, and awarded several hundred thousand dollars in scholarships to those students for their work.

Barr was the Artistic Director of the Porthouse Theatre for five years in Cleveland, Ohio and taught at the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting in Los Angeles, focusing on movement and acting. His received his M.F.A from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and studied in Paris, France at the prestigious Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School.

He has directed over 100 productions and at UCR his credits include such shows as The Rocky Horror Show, The Sea Gull, Angels in America, and Nickel and Dimed. His screenplay Cirque Berserk won the screenplay award at the Telluride IndieFest in 2004 and Hole in the Sky was a finalist at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001.

He is currently at work on a book on directing, as well as a new screenplay. Barr has also just launched the website www.actingis.com which includes a weekly podcast on the art of acting. These podcasts, entitled Notes on Acting, can also be found at iTunes.

Barr has made quite an impression on the UCR community with his passionate commitment to the campus, the arts, and the students. He is honored to have received this award and believes that he has many more roles to play in the continuing drama known as UCR.

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