BIOGRAPHY

PLAYS

DIRECTOR

 

 


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Barbara with Edward Albee

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Barbara with Ellen Stewart of LaMama E.T.C.

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Barbara with Charles Busch

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Barbara's mom with Tony Randall at Torch of Hope Awards

   

 Barbara Kahn is a multi-award winning playwright, actor and director. She started acting in Philadelphia while a teenager. She received a B.A. degree in Theatre Arts from ADELPHI UNIVERSITY in New York while continuing her professional career. She returned to Philadelphia in 1998 to appear in her own play "CO-OP" and in 1999 in "Cyma's Story." "Cyma's Story" was presented in Los Angeles by the Jewish Women's Theatre Project in January 2002at the NOHO (North Hollywood) Theatre Festival in Hollywood and the University of Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany, in 2003. She has directed plays in New York, Paris and at the National Theatre in London.

Barbara's plays have been produced in New York, California, Boston and Philadelphia and have won awards on both coasts. Theater for the New City has been the New York City home for her plays since 1994.  Unorthodox Behavior was presented by Moving Parts Theatre Group in Paris, France in January 2003.

Barbara was honored with the TORCH OF HOPE AWARD for "lifetime achievement," following past recipients Terrence McNally, John Guare, August Wilson, Horton Foote and A.R. Gurney. She received the JAMES R. QUIRK AWARD for the Performing Arts for her "memorable contributions to American theatre" and was awarded participation in The Field's Independent Artist Challenge Program.

Barbara's play "Whither Thou Goest" was
published in the anthology, MAKING A SCENE: The Contemporary Drama of Jewish-American Women (ed. Sarah Blacher Cohen, Syracuse University Press. 1997) Her work was also published in More Monologues for Women by Women (Heinemann Press), Harrington Lesbian Fiction Quarterly (Haworth Press) and All In the Seasoning (Bywater Books). Memorabilia from her early productions are in the permanent collection of the Cultural History Collection at the New York State Museum in Albany. She co-authored the lyrics for the song "Actions Are the Music of the Free" for "Bringing Beijing Home" rally at NYU, later performed on request at the United Nations Memorial to Dame Nita Barrow. and at the 17th Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts.

Barbara has been a panelist at the OutWrite conference in Boston and a panel moderator at the International Conference of Gay and Lesbian Jewish Organizations.   She was the sole U.S. presenter at the Jewish Women’s Writing Conference in Mainz, Germany in 2003. She is a member of The Dramatists Guild, Sisters On Stage (co-founder), Actors Equity Association and Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA).

Barbara received the 2011 Robert Chesley Foundation/Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Award for achievement in Playwriting. She received the award for Best Short Play for "CO-OP" at the 2012 Downtown Urban Theatre Festival.

Barbara was the recipient of a 2017 Acker Award for her work in the Theater.




BARBARA KAHN: PLAYS

    full length plays
“GHOST LIGHT NOW & THEN” A time-fluid drama follows a contemporary lesbian couple who find themselves in 1920’s Greenwich Village. Theater for the New City. (2017)

“THE THREE MILE LIMIT” A historical drama aboard a transatlantic ship in 1927. Celebrities encounter other passengers and crew with mixed results. Theater for the new City. (2016)

“WOMEN OF THE WIND” (historical drama about the making of the movie Gone with the Wind). Theater for the New City (2015)

“ISLAND GIRLS” (historical musical drama about inmates of the NY Women’s Penitentiary in 1927) Co-authored and music by Noelle LuSane. Theater for the New City (2014)

“CROSSING PATHS IN WASHINGTON SQUARE” (historical drama set in New York City’s famous Greenwich Village park in 1913) Theater for the New City (2013)

“UNREACHABLE EDEN” (stand alone musical sequel to The Spring and Fall of Eve Adams, following Eve’s story from 1920’s New York to France before and during World War II). Theater for the New City. Music composed by Arthur Abrams.(2012)

“BIRDS ON FIRE” (historical musical drama about the 1911 Triangle Waist Company fire in Greenwich Village). Music by Allison Tartalia. Theater for the New City. (2011)

“THE SPRING AND FALL OF EVE ADAMS” (historical drama based on a true story in 1926 New York City). Theater for the New City. (2010)

“WALKING FROM RUMANIA” (drama about Jewish women planning to escape oppression in 1899 Rumania). Theater for the New City (2009)

“THE GHOSTS OF 14TH STREET” (silent movie making and vaudeville in New York in 1908). Theater for the New City (2008)

“1918: A HOUSE DIVIDED” (a musical about New York’s Greenwich Village during World War One) Theater for the New City (2007)

“LONG TIME PASSING” (an anti war fable set in the ruins of New York’s Central Park during an endless war). Theater for the New City (2006).

"PYRATES! THE COURTSHIP CHRONICLES" (a musical about real-life pirates in 1720 Jamaica) Theater for the New City. (2004)

"THE BALLAD OF BAXTER STREET" (a play with music about the notorious Five Points neighborhood in 1855 New York City) Theater for the New City. (2005)

"THE LADY WAS A GENTLEMAN" (a docu-comedy about 19th century actress Charlotte Cushman ) Theater for the New City.  (2003).

"WAR BONDS" (WWII drama about women pilots and WACs).Theater for the New City. (2002).

"THE TEMPEST-TOSSED" (post WWII drama). Theater for the New City. (2001)

"JOANNA" (Lower East Side lesbian love fable) Theater for the New City. (2000)

"THE GREENEH PASTURES" TRILOGY:
"HEAVEN AND EARTH" (historical drama) Theater For the New City, February-March (1999).

"WHITHER THOU GOEST" (historical drama) Theater For the New City, February-March (1997).
Published in Making A Scene: The Contemporary Drama of Jewish-American Women, Syracuse Univ Press, 1997

"UNORTHODOX BEHAVIOR" (historical drama inspired by genealogical research)
Theater For the New City, NY (1995). Reading: Moving Parts Theatre Group, Paris, France (2003).

"CROSSINGS: Where W.11th Meets W.4th St., Greenwich Village" (lesbian romantic comedy vignettes)
Theater For the New City, March (1998).

"SEATING AND OTHER ARRANGEMENTS" (lesbian romantic comedy)
Labrys Theatre, San Diego, CA (1992), Wings Theatre, NY (1994), Triangle Theatre, Boston, MA (1996).

"PEN PALS" (political drama inspired by Amnesty International) Theater for the New City, NY (1994), The Fresh Fruit Festival (2005) Winner: Best Playwright.

"THE FORGOTTEN TRUTHS" (historical drama about George Sand, with Colleen Curtis)
New York Public Library (1982), Calico Productions at The Acting Studio, NY. (1987), Segment of "Daughters, Mothers, Sisters and Others..." (one-act version) at Madison Avenue Theatre, NY (1994).

"HELL'S KITCHEN HAS A TUB IN IT" (romantic comedy) Calico Productions at Studio 603, NY (1988).

"GRAVEDIGGERS" (musical comedy, with Ray Hagen) (book and some lyrics) LaMaMa E.T.C., NY (1972)

one-acts and monologues
`SUMMER IN THE CITY' (series of monologues) segment of: EEGO's "Midsummer Revels"--Southampton, NY. 1982; "Out...In Our Town"--The Duplex, NY. 1993; The Crystal Quilt, NY. 1993; "Miracle On East 4th Street"--W.O.W. Cafe, NY. 1994. One monologue published in Even More Monologues by Women for Women (Heinemann) 2001.

"THE WEAVER" (prologue for the theatre) Westbeth Theatre Center, NY--Westbeth 20th anniversary; Strolling Players: Abbey of Regina Laudis, Bethlehem, CT. 1991.

"SIX DEGREES OF GRADUATE STUDY IN THE AMERICAN THEATRE" (skit)
Gala in honor of Joe Cino (Caffe Cino) at Theater for the New City. 1992.

"SEATING AND OTHER ARRANGEMENTS" Love Creek Productions (one-act version) Nat Horne Theatre, NY; Phoenix Ensemble's Fire Festival (one-act version) NY. 1995; Arts Project of Cherry Grove, Fire Island (one-act version). 1998.

"CO-OP" Commissioned and produced by Theater for the New City for the 1st Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts. 1996; W.O.W. Cafe, NY. 1996.

"CO-OP: The Next Generation" Commissioned and produced by Theater for the New City for the 2nd Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts. 1997.

"CO-OP" (a combination of above two plays) Philadelphia Fringe Festival. 1998. Short version presented at The Fresh Fruit Festival at the Cherry Lane Theater. 2009. Downtown Urban Theatre Festival at HERE Arts Center, NYC 2012.

"ANNIE GET YOUR PUN" Commissioned and produced by Theater for the New City for the 4th Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts. 1999

"A DAY TO REMEMBER: The Staten Island Ferry" 3rd Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts.

"10014" Commissioned and produced by Miranda Theatre Company for "Manhattan Zip." 1996. Triangle Theatre, Boston, MA. 1996.

"THE CAT'S MEOW" Commissioned and produced by Miranda Theatre Co. 1996.

"LIFELINE" Reading at Village Playwrights. 1997; First Look Series, Goldman Y, NY. 1998. Woodstock Theatre Co. Theatre Festival 2002

"STRAY CATS" 5th Annual LES Festival of the Arts. 2000.

"VANILLE: The Lost (Last) Xena Episode." 6th Annual LES Festival. 2001.

"CYMA’S STORY" One woman adaptation of trilogy. Philadelphia Fringe Festival 1999; Expanded Arts, NY, 1999; Jewish Women’s Theatre Project, Los Angeles, 2002. NOHO (North Hollywood) Theater Festival 2003; University of Gutenberg, Mainz, Germany, 2003. Published in Harrington Lesbian Fiction Quarterly (Haworth Press) 2001.

"LAW & ORDER; P.I." (a film noir satire about detectives and dames on the Lower East Side) 10th Annual Lower East Side Festival. 2005.

“LOST AND FOUND” (people are stranded on an island following a mysterious plane crash). 11th Annual Lower East Side Festival. 2006.

LAW & ORDER: I.C.E. A COLD CASE” Satire written for the 12th LES Festival. (2007) Music by Allison Tartalia.

LAW & ORDER: ESL” Satire written for the 13th LES Festival (2008)

LAW & ORDER: ER” Satire written for the 14th LES Festival (2009)

“LAW &ORDER: CRIMINAL INTERRUPTION.” 15TH LES Festival (2010)

“THE BOOK OF MERMAN.” 16TH LES Festival. (2011).

“PIRATES OF THE HI C’s.” 17TH LES Festival. (2012)

“LES L.E.S.” A silly satire. Music by Allison Tartalia. 18th LES Festival. (2013)

“THAWED: A TURKEY MELT. Spoof of the hit movie Frozen, Music by Allison Tartalia. 19th LES Festival. (2014).

“DOWNTOWN ABBY: ADVICE MAVEN OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE” Music by Allison Tartalia. 20th LES Festival. (2015)

“A MELODY PLAYED IN A PENNY ARCADE”  21st LES Festival. (2016)


BARBARA KAHN: DIRECTOR

"The Diary of Nijinsky" (adapted by Nina Kethevan)
    Lincoln Center, N.Y.
Theatre Lucernaire, Paris
The National Theatre, London
"Into Love and Out Again" by Dorothy Parker (adapted by Colleen Curtis)
    Drama Tree, N.Y.
"Burning Bridges" by Nancy Dean
    Madison Avenue Theatre Productions
"Shvesters" by Kevin Brofsky
    Madison Avenue Theatre Productions
"Late Afternoon" by Beverly Thompson
    Madison Avenue Theatre Productions
"The Heidi Solution" and "The Way It Is" both by Pennell Somsen.
    Kloepfer Productions. WOW Cafe.
"Our Lady of Stone" by Vanda
    oobr one-act play festival. Impact Theatre.
    Grove Street Playhouse.   
"Holiday Madness" by Carol Holland.
    Break a Leg! Prods. Manhattan Plaza.
"Secrets and Orphans" by Kevin Brofsky.
    Theater for the New City.
"Midsummer Revels" (assistant director)--Southampton, N.Y.

"The Forgotten Truths" by Colleen Curtis and Barbara Kahn
    N.Y. Public Library
    The Acting Studio
    Barbara Barondess Theatre Lab
"Hell's Kitchen Has A Tub In It" by Barbara Kahn
    Calico Productions. Studio 603, N.Y.
"Pen Pals" by Barbara Kahn
    Theater for the New City
"Six Degrees of Graduate Studies..." by Barbara Kahn
    Cino Gala, Theater For the New City
"A Day to Remember: The Staten Island Ferry" by Barbara Kahn
    Lower East Side Festival of the Arts.
"Annie Get Your Pun" Lower East Side Festival of the Arts.
"Crossings: Where W.11th Meets W.4th St., Greenwich Village"* by Barbara Kahn
    Theater For the New City

All full-length plays written by Barbara Kahn and presented at Theater for the New City were also directed by Barbara Kahn. "War Bonds"* "The Lady Was a Gentleman"* “Pyrates! The CourtShip Chronicles”*--co-directed with Lisa Marjorie Barnes. “Crossing Paths in Washington Square” “Unreachable Eden” “Women of the Wind” –co-directed with Robert Gonzales Jr.

THE HEATHER COMPANY at Westbeth 20th ann'y celebration (co-director)
THE CRYSTAL QUILT members party--director of entertainment program
CINO GALA for THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY--co-dir. of entertainment


Crystal Quilt Anniversary Party

Crystal Quilt Anniversary Party

"Our Lady of Stone" by Vanda

"Our Lady of Stone"

"Our Lady of Stone"

"Law & Order: PI" LES Festival

"Stray Cats" LES Festival

"Seagulls, See Girls!" by Pennell Somsen




BARBARA KAHN: MISCELLANEOUS

Panelist: OutWrite conference in Boston.
Panel moderator: International Conference of Gay and Lesbian Jewish Organizations.
Panel organizer/moderator: Sisters On Stage Annual Acting Out Conferences, 1995-1999
Guest Speaker/presenter: Jewish Women's Writing in Great Britain and the United States from the 1990's and Beyond, Mainz University, Germany. January 2003.

Co-author: lyrics for the song "Actions Are the Music of the Free" (in honor of Bella Abzug) for "Bringing Beijing Home" rally at NYU, later performed on request at the United Nations Memorial to Dame Nita Barrow and at Bella Abzug memorial birthday benefit.

Memorabilia from Ms. Kahn's productions are in the permanent collection of the Cultural History Collection at the New York State Museum in Albany.

Director: THE DIARY OF NIJINSKY, a production that moved from LINCOLN CENTER in New York to the THEATRE LUCERNAIRE in Paris (in French, with the collaboration of the late director Marika Hodjis). The original English version, again under Barbara's sole direction, went on to play at the NATIONAL THEATRE in London.

Citation: Ashort list of prominent post-1970’s playwrights who identify as Jewish and who have written about Jews includes Jon Robin Baitz, Richard Greenburg, Alan Havis, Barbara Kahn, Tony Kushner, Barbara Lebow, Jennifer Maisel, Karen Malpede, David Mamet, Emily Mann, Donald Margulies, Elizabeth Swados, Jeffrey Sweet, Alfred Uhry, and Wendy Wasserstein.” (You Should See Yourself: Jewish Identity in Postmodern American Culture. Vincent Brook. Rutgers University Press.)



BARBARA KAHN: ACTING


Philadelphia Fringe Festival

"Give My Regards to Off-Off Broadway" by Tom Eyen at La MaMa E.T.C.

"Gravediggers" at La MaMa E.T.C. with Butterfly MCQueen

Early Headshot, blonde

"Hecuba" at Adelphi University (2nd from Left)

"Bridgejumpers" at Abbey Fair

"The Tender Trap" Dinner Theater Tour (center rear)

Acting Resume available upon request.


 

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