Profile: Tanya Barfield

Tanya Barfield is an American playwright whose works have been presented both nationally and internationally.

Early life

Barfield was raised in Portland, Oregon and attended Metropolitan Learning Center. Barfield fell in love with theater at a young age. Her high school didn’t have a theater program, so she sought acting electives at another school. While she was there, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival sent actors to her school to perform a condensed version of Macbeth. She walked away from that experience knowing that she wanted to have a career in the field of theater and making the decision to direct that very same play at her own high school months later.


She taught playwriting at Primary Stages School of Theater and Barnard College, New York University and she served as the literary manager of the Juilliard Drama Division from 2009 to 2014. In 2016, Profile Theatre in Portland dedicated their entire season to her work, producing four of her plays. As of 2020 she replaced Marsha Norman as the co-director of The Acheson program.  She is a proud alumna of New Dramatists and a member of the Dramatists Guild of America sitting on the council.

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