Heather Barfield, Ph.D.
South Austin Campus
1820 W. Stassney Ln
Austin, TX 78745
For more information about Dr. Barfield’s courses at ACC Drama click here.
Dr. Heather Barfield, Professor (Adjunct) of Drama at Austin Community College, has an extensive background in theater history, criticism, theory, and practice. In Fall 2019, Dr. Barfield conducted theatre research in France as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar. She facilitated community-devised performance projects titled “Performing Migrant Stories” in collaboration with Aix-Marseille Université, IREMAM, Agir, OICEM, La Mareschale Cultural Center, and Compagnie La Scène Manassa.
Her artistic work often incorporates intermodal forms of storytelling through digital and analog methods. In her critically-praised production, Privacy Settings: A Promethean Tale (2016), Barfield and her cast of devised-theater makers explored the complex topics of whistle-blowers, digital privacy, and civil liberties alongside audience-immersive interactions. Barfield’s theatrical credits include the creation and direction of VORTEX’s Wake for the Dark Poet (B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Production of a Drama) and her direction of Machinal for VORTEX’s Summer Youth Theatre (B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Production of Theatre for Youth). She has performed locally in critically acclaimed shows including VORTEX’s Dark Goddess, Rude Mech’s Dionysus in ’69, and Rubber Repertory’s The Casket of Passing Fancy. She was an arts writer for The Austin Chronicle and a contributing member of the Austin Critics’ Table. Barfield also served as CFO/COO for arts services organization Austin Creative Alliance from 2003-2017. She managed the financial, administrative and budgetary aspects of ACA and ninety sponsored project organizations and collaborated with staff on grant writing, marketing, event planning, and production.
Dr. Barfield received her Ph.D. in Performance as Public Practice from the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a B.A. in Anthropology from UT Austin. Throughout her career, she has worked as performer, scholar, director, producer, writer, archivist, and arts administrator in the Austin, Texas theater and cultural communities. Barfield is a 30-year company member of VORTEX Repertory Theatre and has served as Associate Artistic and Development Director. Barfield volunteers as a board member for Electronic Frontier Foundation-Austin. She has previously served on the boards of Alliance Française d’Austin and Canopy Theatre. She also proudly served as Board President of VORTEX Repertory Theater.
She continues to devise, write, produce and direct video and performance installation works as an artist-citizen-scholar. Barfield recognizes that a healthy and just social ecosystem depends upon vibrant, eclectic, diverse, reflexive, and innovative arts.
This year, Dr. Barfield received a Global Gender and Women’s Studies fellowship from ACC. She is one of 10 ACC faculty members to receive this award. She will be developing a more globally-focused curriculum in drama as a result of the engaging work with this program.
Due to COVID-19 interruptions and adjustments, Dr. Barfield initiated an online series titled “Theater in Practice” that include her personal and lively interviews with working professionals in the theatre industry. She plans to continue this series into the foreseeable future. This series is posted on her ACC Google Sites page using WebEx tools.
Additionally, Dr. Barfield edits and compiles her notes and media from her recent Fulbright research for the pursuit of future publication. To keep these connections abroad vibrant, she conducts virtual drama workshops with the communities she worked with in France. Through this auxiliary experience, we nourish and strengthen our bonds through theatre techniques at a distance.
Breathing deeply, she is enormously grateful for the opportunities provided by Austin Community College and looks forward to the day when we will all be able to play together in live theatrical spaces.