In the summer of 2004 David Barker began a sabbatical with the intention of developing a new solo show; a personal, soul-searching exploration marking the milestone of turning 50. Nothing happened until... On July 6th 2004 at 12:15 p.m. Barker’s life was changed forever in a period of 90 seconds. Dodging Bullets is a story of raw violence giving way to redemption. It unmasks the face of cruelty with surprising humor. Dodging Bullets is a compelling journey through both horrific and tender events and is performed with visceral truth by Barker as he brings to life 10 people in this solo show.
“Writer/actor David Barker boldly confronts the problem of domestic violence in this devastating solo performance...Barker’s body cuts through space with a dynamic physicality that seems to just barely contain his own outrage. Visceral descriptions of his brother-in-law’s mental cruelty and stylized re-enactments of his physical brutality mix with touching portrayals of other family members. Barker masters it all with velocity in this terrifying inquiry into the essence of malevolence.” -- Minneapolis Star Tribune
“ The show is tragic, witty, deeply personal and still Barker manages to connect with each member of the audience. He uses techniques of mime & clown to play 10 characters, with the swift ease of an experienced thespian. ...a true-life story that goes beyond the imagination.” --MPLS TV, Minneapolis
2009 Best One-Man Show--Phoenix New Times
"Dodging Bullets is theatre as it should be: challenging and compelling."
--Michael Switzer, Emmy Award-winning Hollywood Director
"Dodging Bullets is meant to be seen by the masses. It is powerful, entertaining and very real. It helps put life in perspective and leaves you wondering what is most important. The acting is superb and the message is profound".
--Maureen Christensen, PhD, Family Counselor
"...stranger-than-fiction quality adds visceral entertainment value to 'Dodging Bullets'."
"...powerfully expresses the way in which the violent events which precipitated the play still live in the performer's body. ...a significant piece of creative work from a unique theatrical voice..."
--Phil Thompson, Head of Acting, University of California at Irvine
"Dodging Bullets is a thought provoking performance that reminds us that domestic violence happens not to "those people" but to us. It urges us to understand the magnitude of the impact of domestic violence and provides hope that it can be overcome. Domestic violence happens to 1 in 4 women in our society. Dodging Bullets makes it real in a way that a statistic can't. Everyone should see this play."
--Connie Phillips, MSW, Executive Director, Sojourner Cente
"...courageous ...took us through Holy Thursday and Good Friday to Easter. Love is the only thing that makes us Christian and love of those who hurt us, i.e. forgiveness is love's ultimate expression. Grab yourself a crucifix and take a good look: when Jesus told us to love our enemies, he wasn't kiddin'. ...(this) play touched me deeply because it was such an honest and genuine incarnation of that love. All of us who see it are blessed!"
--Fr. Fred Lucci, OP, Former Director and Pastor, All Saints Catholic Newman Center at ASU
"Dodging Bullets" deals with one of the noblest themes in relationships - forgiveness. Taken from actual gut-wrenching events in his life, David's tour de force effectively displays redemption's strength of grace that we all desperately need to receive and give.
--Pastor Dennis Templeton, Calvary Chapel Arrowhead, Glendale, Arizona
This solo show combines several movement styles into a stunning program of mime, clowning and masks. Using contemporary and classical music--as well as the occasional spoken word--Barker performs separate vignettes, ranging from slapstick comedy to satire and compelling drama.
“…a magnificent performance…superb”
--Daniel Nagrin, legendary pioneer of Modern Dance
"He is brilliant, both in his conception and realization of his pieces---most particularly in `Face It' with an almost endless variety of invisible masks."
". . . an absolutely mesmerizing performance."
---Santa Barbara News Press
"Mr. Barker is the star of the evening and his animations and expressions are unpretentious and uncomplicated. This purity allows the audience to concentrate on the content of the action, to really feel what he is doing without the help of words. This makes mime an art all ages can enjoy. Anyone who has seen Mummenschanz will be glad to know that `Blockhead' is a takeoff on cube heads and cloth to form faces and creatures. It is by far the funniest sketch . . . a wonderful performer."
"Barker's solos were illustrative of his tremendous range. From the reluctant recipient of a mask that changes the wearer into a killer, to a delightfully glib and playful surgeon, each of his characters had truth and integrity."
---University of California, Santa Barbara Daily Nexus
"What would you do if a man stretched out on the floor in front of you and pretended to be bacon? The audience at Douglass College last friday night laughed, very loudly . . . amazing control . . . had the audience roaring."
---Rutgers University Targem