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Jennifer Ross Nostrala

Director of Women and Gender Studies, Director of Simpson Productions and Professor of Theatre Arts
Jennifer Ross Nostrala brings a distinctively collaborative approach to her work as a director and teacher in the theatre department at Simpson College.


Jennifer Ross Nostrala, professor of theatre arts has been directing and teaching theatre for over twenty-five years. She teaches the advanced acting and directing courses.  She also teaches Script Analysis, Women and Theatre, Vocations and the Performing Arts, and Playwriting. A few years ago she created a new May Term course, Agents of Change: Creating Change in the Community Through Performance.  This course is designed to help students investigate a contemporary issue and then develop a performance around that issue as a way to create change in the community.  Recent offerings of this course have focused on raising awareness on campus on sexual harassment and assault.  The students have put together a performance that is used as a part of the orientation for new students on campus.  Jennifer also teaches in our Women’s and Gender Studies program.


  • Directing, Acting, and Playwrighting
  • Extensive study in issues related to Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Experience with Mentor in Violence Prevention


  • 2013   Commendation for Directing & Choreography, Lysistrata Jones, KCACTF
  • 2012   Commendation for Devised Work, Alice’s Trip, KCACTF
  • 2010   Iowa Arts Council Grant for Fat Pig
  • 2009   Commendation for Directing, Back Story, KCACTF
  • 2008   Faculty Award for Campus Leadership, Simpson College
  • 2006   Commendation for Directing, One Flea Spare, KCACTF
  • 2003   Distinguished Teacher Award, Simpson College
  • 2001   Iowa Arts Council Grant for travel to LaMama Umbria workshop, Italy
  • 1998   Distinguished Junior Faculty Award, Simpson College


  • M.F.A in Directing from The University of Texas at Austin, 1988
  • B.A. with majors in Theatre Arts and Art from Simpson College, 1985


  • Simpson College:

            Machinal (2021)

            Prospera's Island: An Operatic Fantasia (2020)

            The Magic Flute (2019)

            Kiss Me, Kate (2019)

            Tartuffe (2017)

            The Comedy of Errors (2016)

            Knowing Joan (2015)

            Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel (2014)
            Lysistrata Jones (2013)

  • Iowa Stage Theatre Company

            The Cake (2021)

            Bright Half Life (2021)

            A Doll's House (2019)

  • StageWest Theatre, Des Moines, Iowa:

            Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2015)

Venus and Fur (2014)

            The Shape of Things (2011)

  • Winterset Stage, Winterset, Iowa:

            The Quiet Man (2012)

  • Des Moines Social Club, Des Moines, Iowa:

            Fat Pig (2010)

  • The Vortex, Austin, Texas:

            Hamlet (2007)