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SAAC Announces Director of The 39 Steps

Posted on December 9, 2012

The Theatre Committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center announces the selection of Austin Barrow as director for the upcoming spring production of "The 39 Steps.? Auditions for the Teague Auto Group/Southern Bancorp sponsored, award winning comedy are December 17-18.

Barrow returns to the SAAC stage after quite a long hiatus to guide four brave actors, who in turn portray over 100 characters, through the delirious melodrama adapted from the1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film noir by Sir Alfred Hitchcock.

This play marks Barrow?s directorial debut at SAAC, but he has delivered memorable roles on the SAAC boards as Ernst in Kander and Ebb?s "Cabaret,? and as Philip in Stage 2?s blackbox production of Lyle Kessler?s "Orphans.?

Barrow is a native of El Dorado, Arkansas. After graduation he attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the Department of Theatre in the School of Performing Arts after three years of study. Before graduation he married his high school sweetheart, Laura Carle. After graduation they moved to Chicago, Illinois, where Austin worked in local theatre. After braving a winter in Chicago, they moved to sunny California, where Austin worked with several theatre organizations in Orange and Los Angeles Counties.

With the help of his wife, the two started a non‐profit theatre company, which ran for three successful seasons. During his time in Los Angeles, Austin also worked in the film and television industry as an actor. He appeared in film, television, and print advertising. With the desire of starting a family, Austin moved with his wife Laura to Fayetteville, Arkansas. Upon being accepted to the Department of Drama at the University of Arkansas. They were blessed with their son Max, in Austin?s first year of school. During his three‐year studies, Austin directed numerous productions on the University of Arkansas stage, as well as the Nadine Baum Studios. In his final year, along with his wife and other producers, he directed the feature film Stripped, Bear.

After graduation he was hired as the Head of the Department of Theatre at Andrew College, in Cuthbert, Georgia. During his time at Andrew College Austin was promoted to the Chair of the Fine Art Division, where he oversaw the Departments of Theatre, Art, Music, and Film. Additionally, he served as the President of Randolph County Arts Council. Austin now resides in his hometown with his wife Laura, son Max, and daughter Olivia. He has been appointed as the President of the newly formed non-profit company, El Dorado Festivals & Events, Inc., and is excited to be a part of the future of El Dorado which is alive with possibilities, as we become "The Festival City of the South!?

Barrow said, "As a true Hitchcock fanboy, I was excited to hear about SAAC?s plans to produce this play. Patrick Barlow has done an amazing job of capturing Hitchcock?s great mastery of suspense with a gentle wink at the audience. The casting of the show calls for three men and one woman. I believe it important to maintain this request by the playwright, as the character shifts are an important function of the play. The most important feature of this play that should be highlighted is giving the audience the sense that at any moment, anything could happen.?

For more information about "The 39 Steps? and auditions, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit