Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art

Tanya Barfield

Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 1999

Tanya Barfield is a prolific and celebrated playwright. She is a proud alumna of New Dramatists, the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program, and she served as the Juilliard Drama Division’s literary manager and is a member of The Dramatist Guild Council. She’s received a Lilly Award, the inaugural Lilly Award Commission, a Helen Merrill Award, an honorable mention for the Kesselring Prize for Drama, a two-time finalist for the Princess Grace Award, a Lark Play Development/NYSCA grant, and a grant from the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, among other accolades.

Her play Bright Half Life premiered at the Women’s Project Theater, received a Lambda Literary Award and was a TimeOut Critic’s Pick. Her play The Call premiered as a co-production between Playwrights Horizons and Primary Stages and was Critic’s Pick for The New York Times. It was the first play that Tanya wrote after an absence from theater to raise two children. In 2016, the Profile Theatre devoted its entire season to Barfield’s work. Her play, Blue Door, was produced by Playwrights Horizons, South Coast Repertory, Seattle Repertory and Berkeley Repertory and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Her play Of Equal Measure was performed at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles and nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

Her residencies include the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, the Ucross Foundation, New York Stage and Film, the Royal Court International Residency, and Seattle Rep’s Women Playwrights Festival at Hedgebrook as well as MacDowell.

She has written for the Starz series, “The One Percent,” “The Americans” on FX, and was part of the PBS documentary Legacy: Being Black in America, hosted by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. She shares a Writers Guild of America Award for her work on season four of “The Americans.”

Other work includes: Chat, and The Quick, Medallion, Foul Play, The Wolves, and Wanting North, and Feast



Tanya Barfield worked in the Mixter studio.

Built in 1927–1930, the Florence Kilpatrick Mixter Studio was funded by its namesake and designed by the architect F. Winsor, Jr., who also designed MacDowell's original Savidge Library in 1925. Mixter Studio, solidly built of yellow and grey-hued granite, once had sweeping views of Pack Monadnock to the east. The lush forest has now grown…

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