Barbara Samuels (she/her) is a queer lighting designer, organizer and producer residing on unceded Wappinger and Munsee Lenape land. Barbara is invested in creating design-forward live events that prioritize generosity, equity, representation, and collaboration. Working nationally and internationally, Barbara collaboratively creates intimate and explosive lighting environments for new plays, opera and dance, aiming to unearth the human condition and consciousness of our surroundings.
Barbara received Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award nominations for her lighting of the immersive sci-fi folk concert, Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future (Ars Nova). She has designed for several OBIE award winning plays including Dance Nation (Playwrights Horizons), Great Lakes… (New Georges/WP Theater) and Grimly Handsome (minor theater).
Barbara co-curates and co-moderates a dramaturgically-driven, majority designer, playreading discussion group. She served as the General Manager of OBIE Award-winning 13P from 2008-2012. In 2016, in addition to being a Target Margin Institute Fellow, The Interval named Barbara a Woman to Watch.
Barbara holds a B.A. from Fordham University and an M.F.A in Lighting Design from NYU. Proud member of USA Local 829. New Georges Affiliated Artist.
Asta Bennie Hostetter
Ann Marie Dorr
Jaynie Saunders Tiller
Maria Manuela Goyanes
Lee Sunday Evans
photo of Barbara by Tess Meyer