What did the 0 say to the 8? Nice Belt

Never let reality get in the way of a perfectly good theory.

- Bill Jetzer

I am Benjamin Barlow, a multi-faceted Business Analyst living in Madison, Wisconsin. I have a wide variety of skills and hobbies that range from photography to web development. The favorite pastime has been (and probably always will be) theatre. For the four (and a half) years I spent studying Mathematics at UW-Platteville, I participated in 20 productions. Almost one production every 80 days for 54 straight months.

After College Graduation

While a young, fresh college graduate in December 2010, I moved out to Washington, DC to look for a career and to spend time with my two older sisters. It didn’t take too long to be offered a position as a Quality Assurance Analyst, but for reasons outside of my control they eliminated the need for the position shortly after the offer. With not enjoying the concrete jungle of the east coast metropolis, I started to apply for jobs back in Wisconsin.

Shortly after that, I was offered and accepted a Business Analyst position with Logistics Health Inc. (LHI) in La Crosse. It was an amazing opportunity and a terrific learning experience. Before this, I had been very intimidated by software development. My dad, a developer, did nothing to help this as he talked very abstractly about technology and how software works. After a few weeks at LHI however, I started to embrace a fascination in coding. I learned HTML/CSS/SQL/JavaScript while in La Crosse. This website was coded from the ground up given a boilerplate CSS file and stripped down WordPress php files.

Move to Madison

In April of 2013, I made the difficult decision to leave LHI and move to Madison. Since then, I have fallen in love with the city. There is no better city in my mind! The sophisticated culture in such a small footprint is by far the most appealing aspect. And in mid-summer 2014, I accepted a position as a Business Analyst with SVA Consulting. I could not have possibly hoped for a better opportunity in an industry that suits me so very well.

Bartell Theatre Webmaster

Later in 2014, I started my involvement with The Bartell Theatre Foundation. I had proposed the idea for a new website to the Executive Director at the time and shortly after become the Bartell’s Webmaster. I then began work to develop, from basic WordPress php files (not too dissimilar to this website), and published the website you see today on January 25th, 2015, complete with features that allow for easy maintenance.

For example, the events you see on the homepage change themselves. By setting a single sort/expiration date on an event, the homepage will automatically know (through custom php and SQL) how to order the events and when to no longer show a show. Imagine being a producer of a production and not having to think about taking down the event on the website’s homepage after the show finishes! Other custom developed website features have proven to make the Bartell’s website one of the easiest theatre venue websites to maintain.

Bartell Theatre Website Redesign

Then in late 2018, I decided that the design needed to change, to bring it more current with the user experience internet users expect from a theatre venue website. Although the underlying organization and infrastructure of the website will not change, there will be nuanced design changes that will allow for a user to better grasp information at a glance. I have used the analogy to language for the design changes, that the new website will be in the same language but will use a better vocabulary and a significantly more pleasing sounding accent.

These changes are already mostly fully developed and are expected to go live in mid-summer 2019.

Strollers Theatre

In March 2016, I participated in the Strollers Theatre production of Misalliance directed by Sam D. White, a Forward Theatre Advisory Company member. It was such a great experience, that I decided to run for and ultimately accept a position on Strollers’ Board of Directors.

On the Strollers Board of Directors, I helped steer the organization with a revitalized publicity strategy utilizing custom motion graphics in videos, professional photography and videography, and a higher standard of acceptable organizational graphic design. I led an investment into a cloud infrastructure for the Strollers’ history project and for the distribution of media resources. I standardized the Press Releases. I served as the Producer of one of the most successful Strollers Theatre production (in terms of sales) in the last several years.

I have helped bring a local theatre company into a new age of digital promotion and have made many new friends in the wider Madison theatre community.

Theatre Photography

I have built a strong theatre network in Madison that has requested my help in providing photography to help promote their productions.

For those interested in my theatre photography, it can be found in the below articles.

Madison Shakespeare Company will get blitzed for the Bard published in The Cap Times

What Strollers Theatre’s ‘Amadeus’ has to say about the late genius published in Madison Magazine

Shakespeare draws out-of-town talent for ‘As You Like It’ published in Madison Magazine

Five choreographers contribute to ‘Anger Dance’ published in Madison Magazine

Left of Left Center doubles down on ‘Beta Blockers: The Refill’ published in Madison Magazine

Troupe tackles tricky play with “Spirits” published in Madison Magazine

Madison Shakespeare Company embarks on first full-length comedy published in the Wisconsin State Journal

Seven summer theater performances not to be missed published in the Wisconsin State Journal

Theatrical love challenges the classic love story published in the Wisconsin State Journal

A timely statement published in the Isthmus

Moveable Shakespeare published in the Isthmus