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“… Jon Barker (is) excellent as the ardent playwright..."

Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal

“Leading the cast is company veteran, Jon Barker, who masters every aspect of his demanding role."

Marina Kennedy, Broadway World

“Standout performances include Barker as the intense, love-struck Bard..." 

Bob Brown, central

“Barker and Brown are winningly cast as the show's doomed lovers..."

Alison Durkee, City Guide

“Jon Barker and Whitney Maris Brown generate considerable heat in their lovely scenes together. Barker is a frequent STNJ cast member and has a gift for achieving perfect body language and gestures in any role, including this one."

Vicki Weisfeld, Front Row Center

“Jon Barker is impressive, as always, as poor Will Shakespeare."

Rick Busciglio,  New Jersey Footlights

“With spot-on comedic timing and oversized stage presence, Jon Barker is a stellar Will Shakespeare."

Ruth Ross, NJ Arts Maven

“Shakespeare Theatre regular Jon Barker shines as Shakespeare, at turns confident in and doubtful of his writing talent, hopelessly in love and fearing the prospect of heartbreak."

Allen Neuner, Out In New Jersey

“Clever and canny and all too human, Barker show us the man with feet of clay, who is far from perfect, yet perfectly divine."

Sherri Rase, Q on Stage

“Barker perfectly captures the frustrations of writing, as well as love's loneliness and longing.

Liz Keill,

“As the title character, Barker manages to be a tortured genius and anguished lover while also presenting a relatable person. His Shakespeare is a workaday craftsman, not an ethereal poet."

Patrick Maley, The Star Ledger

shakespeare in love

Viola de Lesseps (Whitney Maris Brown) and Will Shakespeare (Jon Barker), photo credit: Jerry Dalia, The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, 2015

“The scenes where Will and Viola become involved romantically are very well done. They are so well performed by Jon Barker as Will and Whitney Maris Brown as Viola that one can understand the passion that pulls Shakespeare out of his writing block allowing him to produce Romeo and Juliet."

Karen Nowosad, Let's Go to the Theater

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