Eric Lane Barnes is the author of the critically acclaimed Fairy Tales, which received numerous awards in Chicago, New York, and London. His scores and scripts for Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre include Tuck Everlasting, The Amazing Bone, Simple Jim and His Four Fabulous Friends, and Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, the latter of which continues to play in theaters across the country. His musical The Stops, which centers on the lives of three lady organists, was awarded Best Musical at the 2006 National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival after numerous successful productions in Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Richmond Virginia and Seattle. Its follow-up, The Holiday Stops, broke all box office records at Richmond Virginia’s Triangle Players, the theater at which it originated. His latest show Is It Just Me? played in April of 2017 at Theatre Off Jackson.
From 2000 to 2017, Eric was the Associate Artistic Director of Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus, creating and conducting numerous works for countless enthusiastic audiences all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Since their inception in 2000, Barnes’ vocal ensemble Captain Smartypants has performed with Tituss Burgess, Patti LuPone, Margaret Cho, Jennifer Holliday, Kristin Chenoweth, Megan Hilty, Ana Gasteyer, Melissa Manchester and many others. Captain Smartypants has toured the Northwest and beyond with their shows Trousers of Terror, Cirque du Slaque, A Panty Line and Starstruck. Their video performance of “Kislev Cowboys” (aka “Brokeback Dreidel”) has received over half a million hits on YouTube since it posted in 2008. Look for Captain Smartypants’ show The Great American Sing-Off in September of 2017 at Seattle’s Triple Door.
Barnes’ list of choral commissioners includes The Esoterics; The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington DC; The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus; One Voice Charlotte; The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus; Sound Circle; The Turtle Creek Chorale; and The Windy City Gay Chorus. Several of his pieces are published through Shawnee Press, including “Lambscapes,” “It’s Our Christmas Cheer” and “Glee.” Barnes’ choral theater works We Can Do It! and Unsung were commissioned by Seattle Women’s Chorus, and both enjoyed exciting premiers at Seattle’s Cornish Playhouse.
In June of 2013 Barnes traveled to Beijing to work with The Shining Jazzy Chorus, China’s only LGBT chorus at the time. The chorus has since changed its name to The Beijing Queer Chorus, and continues to grow in membership, musical excellence and social presence. Barnes has returned to Beijing several times since to continue working with the chorus.
Barnes wrote songs and underscoring for the independent films In-laws and Outlaws, Waxie Moon, Seattle to Ghana and the independent feature Fallen Jewel. He is currently working on a children’s book and a musical based on greed, murder and jazz hands.