It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that our beloved Barbara Field—one of the incredible founders of Playwrights’ Center—passed away on February 21st, just a few days shy of her 88th birthday. She’s been constantly surrounded by friends and family over the past couple of weeks, and we’ve been telling stories, cracking jokes (of course), and singing to one another.
Barbara has always been a trailblazer in the theater; a strong, female presence in a field generally dominated by men. She, along with a few other playwrights, created Playwrights’ Center as a home for writers and theater artists to gather together, share work, and grow; a truly supportive community.
Her support for writers continued long after her official role at the Center ended, and she was a tireless advocate for new voices to be heard. Often, she would show up for afternoon readings or workshops to support younger playwrights. A brilliant writer herself, she uniquely understood the challenges of playwriting and as such, became a mentor to so many artists. She gave them so much in any way she could and asked for little in return, believing the gift of the work was the reward.
Barbara was an adamant supporter of the next generation of voices. Her philosophy and guidance are reflected in the beliefs of the Playwrights' Center to this day. With the support of Barbara and her family, we have started The Barbara Field Memorial Fund. In addition to dedicating a space in our new home to Barbara, funds will be invested into Playwrights' Center's work towards a more equitable theatre field for playwrights and theater artists. Please consider a gift (of any size) in Barbara’s name.
The Barbara Field Memorial Fund
Additionally, we’re gathering stories about Barbara to share on her page on our website. If you’re so moved, we would love for you to add a special story or remembrance there. If you have something you’d like to share publicly about Barbara, please click the button below to go to the site.
“We have an obligation to serve the whole community. It’s a serious one. And it’s going to make it a different theater than the one we had, and I think that’s great. I think it’s time for a change. I really do.”
— Barbara Field