About Barbara

Barbara is a member of the Entertainment Community Fund’s Performing Arts Legacy Project.

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 mn,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 was the recipient of the 2019 Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award from the New York Innovative Theater Foundation.