Barbara Field

1 March 2021
Barbara Field

Barbara Field, age 87, died of complications from a stroke on Feb 21. Barbara was a Dayton Hudson Visiting Teacher/Artist in Theater at Carleton several times between 2001 and 2010. The connection began when the Carleton Theater Department put on two of her plays, including an adaptation of “The House of Seven Gables,” commissioned by retired professor Ruth Weiner. Because Barbara loved the students, and they loved her, she returned to teach playwriting.

Barbara brought the same smart, generous, and humorous irreverence to her work elsewhere. Her adaptations of stories, including “A Christmas Carol,” were central to the development of the Guthrie Theater. She also co-founded the Playwrights’ Center, which has nurtured generations of writers. 

A more complete obituary can be found in the StarTribune. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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  • 2021-03-02 10:11:20
    Morgan Holmes c/o 2011

    In 2008, I took my first playwriting class with Barbara. I didn't realize it then but her encouragement of my plays and storytelling, in addition to the chance to stage manage her adaptation of THE HOUSE OF SEVEN GABLES at Arena, would set me down a path of theatermaking and playwriting as my life's interest. In response to an earnest question about why she chose to adapt plays, she once said (in so many words) that creating plays was about good economics because sometimes you need to get paid - I laughed so hard. In 2019-2020 I was supported as a playwright and am now an affiliated writer of the Playwrights' Center which she helped found, so her investment in me has continued long past our physical time together at Carleton. A true student mentor. I remember her as gentle, kind, very funny and above all else, an advocate for artists.

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