From school plays and community theatre to regional and New York, John has been doing theatre for most of his life, the great bulk of which has been new works.

The above image has been created by combining many royalty-free/Creative Commons 0 elements with photos from my personal collection and the photography of Jim Caldwell & Peter Lewicki

About Me

as a theatre actor

John Raymond Barker HeadshotJOHN RAYMOND BARKER (Theatre Actor) is a Master of Fine Arts graduate from the University of Houston School of Theatre where  a large part of his training  included working on new plays and musicals with Stuart Ostrow, Edward Albee, Jerry Bock, and Jerry Sterner. Represented by Across the Board Talent and a proud member of Actors’ Equity, John’s New York theatre credits include several new musicals, including the leads in Avarice Dumped, Truman Capote in Don’t Go Gently, and Lee Feldman’s Greene. John performed and co-wrote the devised work, Gold Coast, with Stages on the Sound for Metropolitan Playhouse’s Gilded Stage Festival under the guidance of Tectonic Theater Project’s Scott Barrow. Regional theatre credits include Theatre Under The Stars (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?Grand Hotel, Funny Girl, Zorro); 5th Avenue Theatre (Grand Hotel); Alley Theatre (Christopher Dudgeon in The Devil’s Disciple, A Flea In Her Ear); Stages Repertory Theatre (Shakespeare’s R&J, The Firebird) John recently made his network television debut guest starring on Law & Order: SVU. Other Internet/Television: HuffPost Live (recurring), A Crime to Remember. Recordings: Show Choir! The Musical Studio Recording, Avarice the Musical Cast Recording, Carols for a Cure Volume 12 with Bernadette Peters and the cast of A Little Night Music, “Vampire Drag Queen”, & Our First Christmas Together.


Visual Theatre Resume

Part scrapbook, part showcase, the following is a nice overview of my theatrical career. Unfortunately, I was not able to gather photos & videos for all projects.  Please pardon all the dust as this page is under much remodeling.

New York Theatre

I was thrilled to be a part of this recording which stars Kevin Duda and Christiane Noll. This wonderful musical was created by two very dear friends, Mark McDaniels & Donald Garverick. Visit them at


as Harry Woolworth:



as Donnie Schwarzenstein:


as Bryan Bayridge:

Avarice tableaux

One of the few leading roles my character-acting self has gotten to play, and it was a pop/rock musical as well. It was an honor to be trusted to be the first actor to play the author surrogate role in this Off-Off-Broadway production.

Rehearsal w/ friend of the show, Wilson Jermaine Heredia watching
Rehearsal w/ friend of the show, Wilson Jermaine Heredia watching
Big fight!
Recording songs from the show

First play (not counting school plays): The Invisible Dragon, between 5th & 6th grades

First musical: Oklahoma!, between 7th & 8th grades

Grand Hotel tableaux

Production photos: Chris Bennion

I got to do this show two different ways with the legendary Liliane Montevecchi reprising her Tony-nominated performance. We first did the show in traditional proscenium at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, WA. Then, in just one week, the production was transformed magically into theatre in the round when Theatre Under The Stars in Houston, TX was awaiting the opening of the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

Little Shop of Horrors tableaux

While attending Alvin Community College, Seymour officially became my favorite role of all-time that I desperately wish to play again if they ever stop casting pretty boy twinks and realize how poignant the role is being played by someone you could actually believe might need the devil’s help getting the girl. 

Gold Coast

How I create theatre was forever changed by this devised work that I co-wrote under the guidance of Tectonic Theater Project’s Scott Barrow for Metropolitan Playhouse’s Gilded Stage Festival while working as a teaching artist with Stages on the Sound in NY. The work/ creation/ rehearsals felt like playtime. 

Don't Go Gently

Jackson Repertory Theatre in Queens, NY produced this staged reading, and I hope I haven’t seen the last of this lovely new musical written by my friends, brothers Jim & Sonny Knable. What I do know is that it is just the beginning of my playing Truman Capote in any theatre or film that will have me. 

program for Follies

This was the first show that the company, started by Paul Hope that would later be known as Bayou City Musicals, put on to raise money. Despite some errors I’ve seen in the press, the production was performed on the main stage of the Alley Theatre. And it was filled with a who’s who of Houston theatrical royalty. When one lady entered the green room, I exclaimed for her to take my seat as I had just read her bio (I’m a good Texas boy, I would have offered my seat regardless).

program for Houston Young Playwright's Exchange at the Alley Theatre

The only thing better than interpreting a role for a writer developing their new work is when that writer is a young person who may just become inspired to pursue a career as a playwright. Houston Young Playwrights Exchange (HYPE) at the Alley Theatre cultivated this very idea. In Hominids Are People, Too, I got to play a raucous caveman in a delightful comedy. My work in this was what led to my getting to be a standby for the Alley’s A Flea In Her Ear and a supporting role in The Devil’s Disciple.

The Devil's Disciple tableaux

Production photos: Jim Caldwell

Having grown up in the Houston area, it was a dream come  true to be in an Alley Theatre production with its company, especially with the incomparable Bettye Fitzpatrick playing my mother. I double sprained my ankle the day of final dress. I damn well wrapped my foot up, packed it into my shoe, and went on that night. I was directed to keep the limp after I healed as it added greatly to the character and made for great humor. 

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? tableaux

The show that could have taken me to Broadway did not. The sensational Millicent Martin would surely have won a Tony, which is why director, David Taylor laughed when I naively worried I might be upstaging her in a scene. But it was a joy to work on, and I’ll never forget novelist and book writer, Henry Farrell telling me how I was saving the show so much money what with my being able to play a young mailman, a middle-aged vaudevillian, and an elderly film director. I also got to work with the lovely Leslie Denniston. This show brought me exactly to the required points to join Actors’ Equity.

program for Shakespeare's R & J

Finally landing a MainStage role at Houston’s Stages Repertory Theatre and working with director, Rob Bundy, on this cool piece was one of my favorite experiences ever. As Student 3, I got to play Mercutio, Friar Lawrence, Lady Capulet and more. I felt like I conquered Shakespeare and proved I was more than just a “musical theatre actor”. I could have joined Equity with this production, but chose to waive, wanting to join before moving to NYC. Fun fact: Nothing gets your heart racing like running onstage at the top of Act 2nd, and while delivering lines to the audience, suddenly locking eyes with Edward Albee.

program for 1040

What a dream world getting to create a character in the first musical where the great Jerry Bock wrote his own lyrics and Jerry Sterner (Other People’s Money) was writing the book. It was my first exposure to Equity rehearsal hours as we had two Equity guest artists and a creative team out of NYC for this workshop with the legendary Stuart Ostrow at the University of Houston. Coupled with classes, it was quite a harsh adjustment. But like any bootcamp, it whipped me into shape and drove home the harshness that must come with making difficult choices to hopefully attain something great. The perfect example: we spent 14 hours choreographing a number where as party guests, every bit of our movement was orchestrated. And then the number was cut. Savage.

program for Children's Theatre Festival and The Magic Journey

The Magic Journey

scene from The Magic Journey by Jerry Bock & Sidney Berger
Play Video
"Aw Mom Aw Mom"*

Not only did I get the privilege of creating a role in a Jerry Bock musical once–I got to do it a second time in this charming children’s show that used songs he’d written long ago for a children’s radio show in NYC. This production was part of the Children’s Theatre Festival in Houston, the first of several collaborations for Mr. Bock and book writer Sidney L Berger.

*I need to confirm if this is the actual title of the song.

I had a blast playing Harold Bub Hicks, a country bumpkin who transforms into a socialite in this concert staging at Main Street Theater in Houston, TX.

program for Leave It To Jane
"performing 'My Blanket and Me' from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Play Video

“My Blanket & Me” from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown as a sophomore in high school

My Emperor's New Clothes tableaux

Not only was this a fun, scenery-chewing part, but I moonlighted as the costume designer while attending Texas A&M at Commerce. I’m also including this character so that anyone casting Hamilton can see how very royal I can be. 

Playbill for Funny Girl

Playing the role of Adolph at TUTS, I had a moment where I had the audience roaring without saying a word. And that wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of the great Marilyn Sokol, who rehearsed comic moments with me with the same importance she gave when rehearsing with Darcie Roberts as Fanny.

postcard for Lee Feldman's Greene

My first project in NYC was this staged reading of a new musical by the acclaimed Lee Feldman. I played an array of eccentric characters including a singing phone sex girl. We later got to perform the show on WNYC’s Soundcheck.

program for The Firebird

This world premiere children’s show at Houston’s Stages Repertory Theatre was so much fun, but also very hard work. Playing a servant character along with Doris Davis meant we had to do lots of heavy lifting creating rivers and forests and such. In one delightful scene, she and I played a lobster and crab, respectfully. Multiple performances day after day made for moments of temporary insanity. Did we do the river yet? Should I be getting into the crab costume once. As you can see, the shellfish costumes were hilarious, and we only lost our minds and lines onstage once during that scene on a particularly loopy day. Fortunately, the funniest moment happened during a dress rehearsal and not in front of any children: Doris accidentally clipped off one of her lobster eyeballs with her claw. This is definitely one of the shows if not the number one show where I’ve laughed the most throughout. 

from Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood

My first show at Stages Repertory Theatre and the first time I got to have my face molded for fantasy makeup. I played an adorable owl. This was one of many shows I did with the phenominal director, Chesley Krohn.

program for Lady Be Good

Fun to be a part of this lovely concert staging at Main Street Theater in Houston, TX.

Kingdom of Earth tableaux

I’m including this even though it was work that I did for a class because we did perform it for an invited audience, and it was my favorite part to play in any acting class ever. Plus, I’ll take any chance to praise the brilliant Karen Kohlhaas, who is one of my greatest teachers of all-time.

This new jukebox operetta at TUTS was my first time in an Equity production and the first of my EMC points that earned me my Equity card.

Playbill for Zorro

In this staged reading of a new musical Off-Off-Broadway, I played the lead, Cupid, whose meddling allowed me to create nine characters. It’s the type of work where I really get to show off and shine.

1st Annual American Musical Theatre Awards honoring Jerry Herman

One of the, if not the, first things to ever perform at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. It was a heck of a star-studded show, produced by Theatre Under The Stars.. I was one of a handful of pit singers who sat with the orchestra onstage while different stars and dancers performed the songs that made Jerry Herman famous.

from Madame Bovary the Musical

Madame Bovary

I had a great time playing a caring priest and a bitchy butler in this Off-Off-Broadway production.

program for The Toys Take Over Christmas

Not only did I help take over Christmas, I literally took over one of the lead roles overnight when an actor had to leave the show. With only a script, a VHS tape, and a quick put in rehearsal the morning before, I learned the lines and blocking and managed to save the day. 

The following clips were recorded in my pocket during the final presentation of a musical theatre song acting class:

“Wrestling” from But I’m A Cheerleader lyrics by Bill Augustin, music by Andrew Abrams:

“That’s All” lyrics by Marcy Heisler, music by Zina Goldrich:


For ProfessionaL Inquiries

I am represented by Across The Board Talent for all work in Film, Television, Theatre, and Commercials. Please contact my agents if you are interested in auditioning or booking me for any of these types of work.

Todd M Eskin – Theatre:
Robert Miller Jr – Theatre:
Armand Vaughn – Television/Film:
Frankie Fronte – Commercials:
917-397-0282 | 323-761-0282

For all other inquiries, please visit the contact page.

Click the  resume for a PDF of my resume.

A Dream Come True: My Week Guest Starring on Law & Order: SVU

Click the headshot for a PNG 

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