Robert Chesley Foundation

Barbara Kahn
2010 Chesley Award Winner

Barbara Kahn is a multi-award winning playwright, director and actor. Her honors include the Torch of Hope Awardfor “lifetime achievement in non-profit theatre,” whose past recipients include Terrence McNally, August Wilson, Horton Foote, A.R. Gurney and other theater luminaries. She received the James R. Quirk Award for the Performing Arts for her “memorable contributions to American theatre.” Barbara was named best playwright in the 2005 Fresh Fruit International Festival for her political drama Pen Pals.

Barbara’s plays have been produced annually at Theater for the New City since 1994. Her plays have also been produced at other venues in New York, as well as in Boston,Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Diego, Hollywood, Tucson, and in Paris, France, and Mainz, Germany.

Barbara has directed in New York, Paris and at the National Theatre in London. She has been an acting and playwriting coach inNew York for more than fifteen years. Member of AEA, SAG, The Dramatists Guild. 

A short 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.)