Jeffrey Billard, Director
Jeffrey Billard is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and holds a Masters degree in Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University and a B.A. in English and Journalism from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He teaches Shakespeare at Barnstable High School, is a member of the Theatre Faculty at Cape Cod Community College and teaches Graduate Education courses at Fitchburg State University. Jeff has also studied with the Actors’ Shakespeare Project in Boston and is an instructor in their Summer Teacher Institute and teaches improvisational acting in the Cape Cod Collaborative’s Advanced Studies and Leadership Program (ASLP) program.
Jeff started with the Drama Club in 1994 as Assistant Director and left in 2001– returning to this position in the fall of 2011 to direct It’s a Wonderful Life: the Radio Play. Jeff has directed numerous shows at BHS including The Glass Menagerie, The Crucible, The Great Gatsby, The Death and Life of Sherlock Holmes, Fahrenheit 451, Almost, Maine and Godspell with Keith Caldwell. Jeff’s directing work in other theatres includes Mister Roberts at The Barnstable Comedy Club; Medium: Rare at Cape Cod Community College; Yasmina Reza’s ‘Art’ and The Uncle Binky Show both at the Provincetown Theater. Jeff‘s favorite acting roles include Martin in Voices Across the Wall, Jacey Squires in The Music Man and Elisha Whitney in Anything Goes. Jeff is also the Artistic Director of the Open Circle Theater Company.
Jeff went to Vietnam in 1997 to study at the University of Hue and in keeping with his belief in being a teacher/artist has written, directed, and performed in his play Voices Across the Wall dealing with issues from the Vietnam War and has written and performed I, Vietnam a one-man theatrical piece as well. In the spring of 2011 Jeff’s play On the Tiger’s Back was chosen as a winner in the Provincetown Theater’s Spring Playwright’s Festival. He has also co-authored and performed the play Waiting for Ingivelse with Keith Caldwell and has written a collection of poetry around the Vietnam War entitled Poetry of Conscience and a second called Circle Intact dealing primarily with the war in Iraq as well as PTSD. Jeff has also been a featured poet at the Provincetown Poetry and Literary Arts Festival and was awarded an NEH Fellowship to study at the Summer Teacher Institute-Teaching the Vietnam War at the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences at UMass Boston in 1996. Jeff is also a voice actor who has performed in numerous audio dramas including most recently playing “Cabbie” in Seventh Victim.
Keith Caldwell, Associate Director
Keith Caldwell, a 1976 BHS alumnus, holds a BA in English from Southeastern Massachusetts University and a Masters in Education in Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University. He has taught high school literature, writing, poetry, and drama for the past 28 years. At Fontbonne Academy in Milton from 1989-1994, Mr. Caldwell was the director of the drama department, directing and producing 15 plays and musicals. He wrote and developed the curriculum for the Drama and Theatre Arts course which he teaches here at Barnstable High School. He has also developed teacher-training courses with fellow educator Jeffrey Billard on integrated teaching through the arts. During the summer, Mr. Caldwell teaches graduate courses and teaches improvisational theatre in the Advance Studies and Leadership Program (ASLP). A strong advocate for arts education, he believes that learning through, with, and about the dramatic arts inspires the creativity and imagination that is so essential to think critically, love deeply, and to live fully in a diverse and complex world.
Mr. Caldwell has enjoyed the privilege of performing on the BHS stage both as a student and as a faculty member. When a student here, he was the Drama Club president, and his acting roles included Prince Escalus in Romeo and Juliet, David Benter in The Mouse that Roared, Egbert Van Horn in Curse You, Jack Dalton!, Sam Harris in George M., and Moonface Martin in Anything Goes (a role he reprised for the BHSDC 40 years later!). Other roles Mr. Caldwell has played while a teacher here at BHS include the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Tom in The Glass Menagerie, Judge Danforth in The Crucible, and Arthur Conan Doyle/Professor Moriarty in The Death and Life of Sherlock Holmes. In 2016, he had the privilege of co-directing Godspell with Mr. Billard. Mr. Caldwell has also acted in other local theater productions, including playing Marc in Art at the Provincetown Theater, Doc in Mister Roberts at the Barnstable Comedy Club, and Alan in God of Carnage at the Cotuit Center for the Arts.
In addition to teaching and directing here at BHS, Mr. Caldwell is the head girls cross country and track & field coach and serves as the second vice-president of the Barnstable Teachers Association.
Chris Viens, Assistant Director
Chris holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Lesley University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Political Science from Keene State College. He is a Special Education teacher at Barnstable High School. Chris first appeared on stage with the Barnstable High School Drama Club as Col. Moran in The Death and Life of Sherlock Holmes.Since then he has assisted with the production of Little Shop of Horrors, Cymbeline, The Great Gatsby, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Since becoming the assistant director of the Drama Club, Chris has written and directed the 2015 Haunted House, The Haunting of Dead Neck, has served as technical director for the BHSDC productions of Almost, Maine and Godspell, and directed William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
Chris has loved theater since appearing as Rumpelstiltskin in the second grade. He appeared on stage throughout high school and has worked backstage in a variety of venues from schools to summer camps. He believes that the focus, discipline, and team work that are learned in the theater will serve students in all of their artistic and educational endeavors.