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Press Release




Free book reading and signing on July 18, 2012 at the Smyrna Public Library from 6:00-8:00pm.

North Hollywood, CA – (June 8, 2012) On July 18, 2012 from 6:30-8:00pm, bestselling author Adilah Barnes will join the Smyrna Public Library located at 100 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, Georgia 30080 for a free book reading and autographed book signing. This book signing is sponsored by the Wolfe Recreation Center located at 884 Church Street, Smyrna, GA 30080.

In the mid-1980’s an acting class of Adilah Barnes’ at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco gave her a white textured book with a dried flower-cover, as an inspirational reminder, that they wanted her to consider writing an acting book to reach more actors globally. The thought was far from Barnes’ mind at the time.

Fast forward to 2012 and Adilah Barnes’ book, ON MY OWN TERMS One Actor’s Journey that came in #3 for softback books in Essence Magazine in June, 2009 behind President Obama’s two books. This extraordinary book takes the reader on an unforgettable ride with Barnes from age sixteen when she took her first acting class in Project Upward at California State University, Chico. There she played The Queen in A.A. Milne’s play, The Ugly Duckling and has gone on to play powerful roles in film, television and on stage.

In a deeply personal account of her own life and career, Barnes shares her battles, triumphs, frustrations, and joys, both silent and overt. Aside from focusing on Barnes’ multifaceted career, ON MY OWN TERMS brings to life a historical backdrop including the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War, Black Power Movement, assassinations of public figures and the unrest of the 1960s during her coming of age.


Adilah Barnes is a testament to the truth that is possible to become a successful working actor without the trappings of fame. Her humble beginnings began in the dusty prune fields near Oroville, California and her acting achievements have garnered her roles in recent tv roles that include Harry’s Law, Prime Suspect and The Middle, as well as such award-winning films as Erin Brockovich and HBO’s Iron-Javed Angels. She has temped as a receptionist and has also worked five seasons as an actor on the top-rated television sitcom, Roseanne. She knows firsthand the gritty reality of the have-nots, and has also navigated through her seemingly insurmountable odds and come out on the other side as an actor on her own terms.

Although her wings spread many years ago to include notable television and film work, she has also maintained her roots in theatre. Since 1990, she has toured her one-woman historical show, I Am That I Am: Woman, Black to 40 states and three continents including North America, Africa and Europe. She is also proprietor of The Writers Well in Sharpsburg, GA, and shares her many talents as an educator, co-founder/producer of the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, and as talk show host on’s “Adilah.” Barnes has received numerous awards over the years and in 2010 received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Entertainment, Spirit of Peace Award,  Outstanding Achievement and Artistic Excellence Award. The Adilah Barnes Arts and Literary Achievement Scholarship was also established in 2010 in her name for inner city youth at the Jenny Lind Elementary School in Minneapolis, MN.

For more information on the Smyrna Public Library reading call 404-388-6750 or for more information on Adilah’s book or The Writer’s Well in Georgia, please go to www. or call (770) 254-9888.

                              DON’T MISS!!!
Reading and Autographed Book Signing

JULY 18, 2012

  Smyrna Public Library
100 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, GA 30080
6:00pm - 8:00pm
(770) 431-2860


Photo Credit:  Coleman Photography


Adilah Barnes is an award-winning actor of stage, tv and film. Her recent tv credits include roles on NBC’s Harry’s Law and Prime Suspect, as well as ABC’s The Middle. She also recurred on ABC’s Roseanne for five seasons as “Anne Marie” and co-starred in films such as Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts and Iron-Jawed Angels with Hilary Swank. She is proprietor of The Writer’s Well , an international literary retreat for women in Sharpsburg, GA and hosts the highly rated internet talk show, Adilah on Adilah co-founded the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival in 1993 and is an acting and writing instructor. In June, 2009, Essence Magazine named ON MY OWN TERMS: One Actor’s Journey the #3 bestselling book behind President Obama’s two books. Adilah has received many awards over the years including the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award and the Adilah Barnes Literary and Arts Scholarship was established in 2010 in her name for inner city youth in Minneapolis, Mn.


“Rich with bloodline of heritage, textured, nuanced, and mystic, transforms with the rhythm of an artistic griot . . . we relate to the writer’s experiences, adopting them as our own to examine, explore,

and savor . . . This is an important work . . . a profound read with political heart . . . Although this is an Actor’s story, this is the Hero’s journey . . . this is a deeply intelligent, thoughtful, fearless read that dares anyone to categorize it . . . encapsulates a journey, lyrical, poetic and evocative; an uncharted river, challenging the reader to step across.”

                                                      A Gathering of the Tribe Magazine

  “She did it. She did it with dignity and love of the craft. She did it on her own terms . . .

This is a must read . . . Adilah has successfully blended art, business and integrity in On My Own Terms. . . So enjoy the journey, and allow Adilah’s insights and life triumphs and tribulations to entertain you, inform you, and cause you much pause for reflection . . . There are so many wonderful things I can say . . .

but, you, the reader will experience her words for yourself.”

                                                       Ella Joyce, Actor

  “I’ve known Adilah since the 70’s when we were both part of the theatre scene in the Bay Area. Not only is she an actor I respect for her well-crafted work, I also tip my hat for what she’s contributed to the theatre community in both Los Angeles and the Bay Area. In both cities, she made things happen by starting organizations that supported actors.”

                                                                     — Danny Glover, Actor

  “Not only have I always admired Adilah’s performing abilities, but I’ve come to respect and value her teachings as well . . . I am lucky to have had her as a guide and friend.”
  — Toni Braxton, Vocalist/Actor



Mary Washington University

Adilah Barnes – I Am That I Am: Woman, Black
Mary Washington University, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Friday, Feb. 19, 2010  7 p.m.
Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall

In this one-woman play, Adilah Barnes takes audiences on a historical journey from slavery to present through the lives of seven renowned women – Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Mary McLeod Bethune, Zora Neale Hurston, Lorraine Hansberry, Angela Davis, and Maya Angelou. Barnes is best known for her five-year run as Anne Marie on TV’s Rosanne. She has appeared in TV’s Cold Case, Gilmore Girls, and Mad About You. She played in the film Murder by Numbers with Sandra Bullock and Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts. Co-founder of the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, Barnes is a graduate, in theater, of University of California, Santa Cruz.

Essence Magazine

Essence Magazine Bestseller Author and Lecturer

On My Own Terms: One Actor’s Journey

Adilah Barnes is a testament to the truth that it is possible to become a successful working actor without the trappings of fame. Her humble beginnings began in the dusty prune fields near Oroville, California and her acting achievements have garnered her roles in such award-winning films as Erin Brockovich and HBO’s Iron-Jawed Angels. She has temped as a receptionist and also worked five seasons as an actor on the top-rated television sitcom, Roseanne. She knows firsthand the gritty reality of the have-nots and has also walked through what appeared to be the illustrious gates of Hollywood. Adilah has navigated through seemingly insurmountable odds and come out on the other side as an actor on her own terms. In a deeply personal account of her own life and career, Adilah shares her battles, triumphs, frustrations, and joys, both silent and overt. Includes readings from her book.

Crossing Over From College to the Real World

This interactive lecture specifically aimed at seniors, explores how students can begin to prepare for the transition into the real world after graduation. Adilah speaks on the territory of the unknown following completion of college,  identifying where one’s passion lies and how to seek career opportunities that nurture the passion, getting work in your major, how to seek, approach, and make the best use of mentors,  the power of relationship building in the marketplace, work place politics, and much, much more.

So You Want to Come to Hollywood!

This nuts and bolts interactive lecture speaks directly to those who want to make the trek to Hollywood to follow their dreams in the entertainment industry. Adilah discusses candidly the world of Hollywood in very sobering and inspirational terms, shares what steps may be taken to prepare for the big move including getting your chops before you arrive, the value of doing the research first, coming to LA with tools of the trade, a savings, juggling a flexible day job, representation, auditioning, the importance of surrounding oneself with a positive support system, wholistic health, dealing with sexism, racism, and ageism, becoming an entrepreneur, and how to maintain faith in an uncertain industry. Adilah uses her own life as proof that it is possible to be a working artist, and maintain one’s integrity at the same time.

From Self-Publishing to Becoming a Bestselling Author

Adilah shares her journey from thought to print in this hands on lecture that includes the importance of identifying your voice, genre and style, how to get started, disciplining yourself to write consistently to complete your book, self publishing vs. a mainstream publisher, literary agents, elements of writing a book proposal, creating a look for your book, choosing someone to write the forward, choosing readers and reviewers to write blurbs, distributors and booksellers, the importance of having a publicist and marketing strategy , handlng interviews, peddling your own book,  reading from your book,  royalties, book junket tours, book fairs, and getting reviewed.

Turning Personal Stories Into One-Person Shows

Adilah explores with participants ways they can approach the notion of creating a one-person show. Elements include making sure you have a personal yet universal voice that needs to be heard, theatre training, use of sensory exercises, photos, music, and stored remembrances of people and moments from your past to activate childhood memories, spring boarding from memories to get to the actual writing, and creating a clearly defined beginning, middle and end, She also focuses on getting from the page to the stage by way of dramaturgy, direction, staging and stamina.

On Finding One’s Center

This lecture takes a look at ways to go about finding and celebrating the uniqueness of oneself, the importance of balance in terms of work and play, the relationship between emotional, spiritual and physical health, the role of diet, exercise and rest in well-being, and other tools for centering such as meditation, yoga, spiritual affirmations and visualizations.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 10:57a



April 16, 2010
San Bernardino, Ca.
KimiRhochelle (KRPR) 909-543-2978

A soft breeze moved along the beach front site of the gorgeous Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica, Ca. The stage was set, the red carpet rolled out, the flat screens were placed throughout and soon hundreds of celebrities, officials, awardees, friends, family and supporters gathered to embrace those that have dedicated their lives to stop gang violence in the communities of Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties.

Never before has there been such a collaborative effort, a joint passion, a unity of purpose from all three counties representing all ethnics until this day. This day, 12 community leaders, some called heroes, were awarded the 2010 Spirit of Peace Awards. Amongst them: DEPUTY CHIEF KENNETH O. GARNER (posthumously), CONSTANCE L. RICE, SHERIFF LEROY BACA, BISHOP PAUL TURNER, BILL DUKE, ADILAH BARNES, TONY MASSENGALE, CAPTAIN II RIGOBERTO, MRS. MYRTLE FAYE RUMPH, MR. BERNARDO ROSA, MR. ROCK JOHNSON, THE LAPD and MR. AQEELA SHERILLS.

The evening began as attendees walked the red carpet to enter into a private serenade of jazz from violinist Karen Briggs, given gift bags and then escorted to their tables’ either poolside or over deck to view the magnificent esthetics of the beach, the lights, the portraits of hugs and smiles. A moment of prayer opened the invitation to dine and then the program began.

ABC-7 Co-Anchor David Ono was Master of Ceremonies as he introduced producer of the event Mr. Khalid Shah, President of Stop the Violence Increase the Peace Foundation. With special acknowledgements and thanks, a video presentation of each awardee spoke to the hearts of all those that watched. The listener heard moving tales of gang violence; yet an exclamation point of hope with solutions to peace, to changing minds, to elevating lifestyles. A moving moment on video was Khalid Shah in the audience of a talk show telling Suge Knight, former CEO of Death Row Records, who was on stage, to join the cause, to stop the violence. Shah stated there were mothers in the audience of kids he has lifted off the street from just being shot down. The emotional plea to Knight received a surround of claps from those watching the video.

The transition to jazz violinist Karen Briggs was just the right touch allowing everyone a moment to reflect on their loss, their communities, themselves. And the moment came for all the awardees to come to the stage. One by one, they received an award and certificate of thanks from officials such as: California Senator Roderick D Wright, Ca,. Assembly Steven C. Bradford, Ca. Assembly Isadore Hall, III., Ca. Assembly Wilmer Carter, Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Supervisor, Second District Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles Councilmember Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Councilmember Janice Hahn.

What made this event a true 3-County salute were the entities that participated: Mr. Terrance Stones’ Young Visionaries of San Bernardino, Mrs. Margaret Hill, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and the San Bernardino Drug and Task Force, various law enforcement units from both the Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside City and County Sherriff and Police Department, various Stop The Violence Collaboratives’ from all 3-Counties and the various organizations represented from the awardees such as Constance Rice: Advancement Project, Bill Dukes: Educating Young Minds, Myrtle Faye Rumph: Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center, Bernardo Rosa: Spirit of Manhood and Community Wellness Partnership of Pomona, Rudolph “RockHead” Johnson: Amer-I-Can, and Aqeela Sherills: The Reverence Project.

“It will take joint efforts from all Counties to share resources to maintain sustainability, training of our youth and adults, counseling and employment not only those from gang environment but individuals released from incarceration” states Shah.

In fact, Shah made a special announcement about a new television documentary about gangs that will be produced by Actor/Producer Mr. Bill Duke (an awardee) that will not only focus on gang life and those touched by it across the U.S.. Specifically, families and individuals from all counties of Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles that have been part of the gang problems or effected by the violence will be featured. Such an example is Michelle Ramirez, a San Bernardino resident whose son of 11 years was killed. Ramirez was a personal guest of Mr. Shaw at the 2010 Spirit of Peace Awards and walked the red carpet with her family taking pictures with a poster of her son that was killed.

The 2010 Spirit of Peace Awards was the talk of the town, an event that will grow to national exposure in the years to follow! “This was the best organized event honoring the soldiers of the communities in beautiful surroundings” states Terrence Stone, “I am honored to be a collaborative partner with Khalid Shah”.

Margaret Hill states, “This was the most phenomenal event I have ever attended. It was a good feeling having celebrities, law enforcement, concerned citizens and those who lost loved ones in the same rooms. It was easy to feel the love, hope, care and everyone’s for peace and goodwill!”

The 2010 Spirit of Peace Awards quietly whispered that gang violence is not a black thing or a white thing. It’s in every culture, hits every person and is unbiased like a cancerous cell that marks all of our communities. The loss of a mothers’ child that has been killed; the incarceration of a mothers’ child that has committed the crime...the hurt is the same, the blood spilt is the same, the movement with purpose to cease gang mentality must be the same.

The Stop the Violence Increase the Peace Foundation is a 501 (c) non-profit community prevention and intervention organization that works to eliminate all forms of violence in Southern California communities with locations in Los Angeles and Moreno Valley. Programs offered include gang prevention and intervention, after-school programs, safe-passage programs, services for women and children victims of domestic violence and the surviving families of homicide. Donations are always accepted by going to

The 2010 Spirit of Peace Awards was effortlessly beautifully orchestrated by Kim Anthonys of Urban Excellence Communications with support from KimiRhochelle of Kimi Rhochelle PR Event and Entertainment Firm.

For more information about the organization or how to partner in order to reach those in your community, please call Khalid Shah at 323-777-4894.



Adilah Barnes is an award-winning actor of stage, television and film, bestselling author, producer, motivational and keynote address speaker and has used her life as an inspiration to reach disadvantaged youth in such programs as Upward Bound, TRIO and the Boys and Girls Club and through the Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival, a non-profit organization she co-founded, has served more that 3000 youth in the Los Angeles Unified School District since 2005 in both in-school and after school programs through partnerships with Enrichment Works, and Creative Kids.


Joining the Los Angeles Police Department in 1977,Deputy Chief Garner wore a Los Angeles Police Department uniform for more than three decades. Most recently promoted to was the commander of operations for the department's South Bureau, he also spearheaded a program to help young men re-enter society after being released from prison.


Co-Director of The Advancement Project, is known for her success in tackling problems of inequity and exclusion. She has received more than 50 major awards for her work in expanding opportunity and advancing multi-racial democracy. Rice graduated from Harvard and the New York University School of Law and as a litigator, she has filed class action civil rights cases redressing police misconduct, discrimination and unfair public policy in transportation, probation and public housing.


Working to Heal the Black and Brown Divide: Los Angeles County Sherriff Leroy Baca and Bishop Paul Turner

Last winter, LA County jails exploded in deadly battles between brown and black gang members, forcing prolonged lockdowns. Racially motivated shootings closed area freeways earlier this year. Fights sometimes involving more than 100 high school students divided along racial lines regularly disrupt LA schools.

To stem that growing divide, a task force of clergy, law enforcement officers, and community leaders brought together by Sheriff Lee Baca and Bishop Edward Turner, held a series of conferences at the University of Southern California to address common problems facing both communities. The forums addressed such issues as low voter turn-out, high incarceration rates, discriminatory immigration policies, high unemployment, substandard education and high drop-out rates, absent health care, and worsening gang violence. develop detailed action plans, that were made available to community leaders across Los Angeles County and beyond.


Bill Duke has a wide range of credits to his name in almost every film discipline, including directing, producing, acting and writing. The founder of Duke Media, Mr. Duke also believes in sharing his talent with the community and has devoted much of his time to work with non-profit and charity organizations, like Education Young Minds, an organization that helps inner-city students, ages 5-18, excel at school and at life.


Tony Massengale has over 30 years experience in institutional and community change. He has worked extensively in youth and young adult development, inter-ethnic relations, community and civic organizing. He has also contributed significantly to the field of community based gang

intervention and violence prevention, as an organizer, teacher and mentor.


The Los Angeles Police Department Community Relations Services was established in 1965 in the aftermath of the Watts riots. Under the leadership of Officer-In-Charge, Captain II Rigoberto Romero the Community Relations Division continuously strives toward maintaining open avenues of discourse between the numerous and diversified communities and the Department in an ongoing effort to keep abreast of, and sensitive to, the contemporary issues facing law enforcement today. will present their 2010 Spirit of Peace Awards.


Mrs. Faye Rumph -

The Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center ~ Spirit of Courage Award

Born in Texas during the Depression years. She studied business

management at El Camino College and owned a moving company and other enterprises with her husband. The murder of her eldest son shattered her business ambitions and resurrected her dreams to be a teacher and missionary. Redirecting her pain, Mrs. Rumph formed the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center in May of 1990 with the help of family and friends who also caught the vision of a more positive approach to stopping youth violence.

Mr. Bernardo Rosa -

Pomona Youth and Family Master Plan ~ Spirit of Leadership Award

Bernardo Rosa has been involved in community organizing on social justice, racial justice, youth violence, teen pregnancy and substance abuse prevention issues for over 35 years. He is the co-founder and Executive Director of CWP; co-founder of the Spirit of Manhood male responsibility program and was selected in 2000 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a National Fellow in the, He is the volunteer facilitator of the City of Pomona Youth Advisory Committee and the Co Chair of the Pomona Youth and Family Master Plan Community Board.

Mr. Rock Johnson -

Amer-I-Can ~ Spirit of Justice Award

Simply put, Rudolph “Rockhead” Johnson is a seminal example that

enduring change in behavior is possible. Moreover Rock Johnson embodies the mantra of Jim Brown’s Amer-I-Can Life Management Skills 60-90 hour training curriculum: “eliminate the negative, establish the facts and choose the best option.”

Mr. Aqeela Sherills -

Spirit of Vision Award

Aqeela Sherrils is Executive Director of CSDI, which creates innovative, cost effective ways of solving individual & community problems. In 1992, Aqeela led a "Gang Truce" with his brother that catalyzed other peace treaties across the country. Three years after the peace treaty, gang homicides were down 47%, and 15 new businesses had entered Watts. CSDI now employs over 50 people developing community in Watts.

Self Publishing Q&A with Adilah Barnes

19. Nov, 2009

Author Adilah Barnes talks about having her book, ON MY OWN TERMS One Actor's Journey self-published with Xlibris.
How did you first come to learn of Xlibris, and what made you decide to publish with Xlibris?

I heard of Xlibris from a former acting student of mine, Pamela Durant-Aubrey who was an employee of Xlibris at the time. Unfortunately, by the time I moved forward with Xlibris as my publisher, Pamela had left. I had counted on her being there to support me in the process but though she was gone, I did have a team at Xlibris who supported me along the way until my book was completed and printed.

How was your publishing experience with Xlibris?

Quite honestly, I met a number of challenges along the way (ie editing issues, printing issues, etc). However, in the end, we turned out a well-presented book of quality!

What do you think is the most important thing to consider when you choose a self-publishing company?

The company, package, process and support team.

Is there anything that you would like to pass on to other writers who are presently entertaining the idea of self-publishing their book?

Yes, make sure you are clear on what your book is about, that there is an audience and market for your work, do the research needed, have an editor and allow the time to complete the process with excellence.

Would you recommend Xlibris to others?

Many have appreciated the quality of my book and have asked who my publisher is. I have referred others and one has a contract with Xlibris now. At the same time, I have also impressed on them the importance of double-checking the work and working closely with your team to get the excellence they desire.


University of California at Santa Cruz

Career Advice Network
Adilah Barnes

An accomplished actress with numerous theater, film, and television roles to her credit--including five years on ABC's Roseanne--Adilah Barnes (Cowell '72) long ago left Santa Cruz for Hollywood. Nonetheless, she maintains her connections to her alma mater, driven by the influence that one of her UCSC mentors had on her life.

Herman Blake, founding provost of UCSC's Oakes College, has Barnes's life long gratitude for the counsel he provided to her and fellow African American students during their UCSC years. "He was our father, our therapist, our friend, our educator--he was everything to us," Barnes says. "If I could give to another student half of what Herman gave to me, I would be happy with that."

In many ways, Barnes has followed Blake's example. As a participant in UCSC's Career Advice Network, she makes herself available to students who are interested in the entertainment business. She also offers internships with the Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival, of which she is executive producer.

Barnes, who serves as an active member of the Alumni Council, also travels to UCSC yearly to dispense career advice at the Multicultural Connections Conference (formerly Students of Color Conference).

Like her UCSC mentor, Barnes sees the value of nurturing students outside the classroom--especially minority students who may feel isolated in the university environment.

"By hearing of their struggles and what they're experiencing," Barnes says, "I can let them know they are not alone in whatever challenges they face."

University Communications

University Communications - Press Release
Marshall’s Women of Color program
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153

Actor Adilah Barnes, who played in 'Roseanne' for five years, is keynote speaker at Marshall’s Women of Color program

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Award-winning actor Adilah Barnes, best known to television audiences for her five-year role as Anne Marie on ABC’s Roseanne, will be the keynote speaker at Marshall University’s Women of Color program Tuesday, March 3.

The program, which is free to the public, begins at noon in the Memorial Student Center’s Don Morris Room on Marshall’s Huntington campus. This year’s theme is “Retrospective: Recognizing Achievements and Moving Forward.”

Barnes, who has more than 30 years of acting experience, will be speaking on excerpts from her book, On My Own Terms: One Actor’s Journey.

Women of Color awards will be presented and a reception will follow.

The Women of Color Program activities are coordinated by Fran L. Jackson, Program Assistant II with the Center for African American Students’ Programs; Leah Tolliver, Director of the Women’s Center; and Lisa Allen, Administrative Assistant with Marshall University Multicultural Affairs.

Vendors and displays will be set up in the lobby of the Memorial Student Center throughout the day.

For more information, contact Fran L. Jackson at 304-696-6705.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            April 23, 2008
Press/media contact: (818) 679-2086


On June 28-29, 2008 award-winning stage actor/writer Adilah Barnes will teach her first solo writing workshop at the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre in Atlanta , Georgia . A week-end intensive, “From Thought to Pen” will be limited to 12 students and will take place from 10-6pm on both days at The Woodruff Center located at 1280 Peachtree Street, NE , Atlanta , GA 30309 . The first of its kind at the Alliance Theatre, this workshop will offer a safe, nurturing and inspirational space for actors and writers to recall and develop their personal stories for the stage.

Barnes is no stranger to solo shows having gotten her feet wet as she toured from 1986-89 with the African American Drama Company in their nationally toured “Sister, Can I Speak for You.” She later conceived her own historical solo show, “I Am That I Am: Woman, Black” in 1990 and has since toured her seven-character stage work to close to 40 states and three continents including North America (the US and Caribbean) Africa (Nigeria) and Europe (Holland.)

Even before she became an actor at age sixteen in Project Upward Bound at California State University at Chico , Barnes began her creative expression by picking up the pen as a short story and poetry writer. She was born and raised in nearby Oroville , California , a rural community of dusty roads, busy bodies and indeed a village that raised its own. Many of her early small town experiences and community mentors have significantly shaded her work as an adult actor and writer.

Barnes gained her formal college education and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre Arts at the University of California , Santa Cruz . She continued to connect her creative dots in the Bay Area as she cut her teeth on professional theatre and for the last nineteen years has resided in the Los Angeles area as an actor, instructor, producer, writer and internet talk show host. Her latest artistic calling has summoned her to Atlanta , Georgia , making her a bicoastal artist. She now resides in both the Los Angeles and Atlanta areas.

In addition to coming aboard at the Alliance Theatre this summer, Barnes last year founded The Writer’s Well, A Literary Retreat for Women, also located in the Atlanta area. With the backdrop of 1.8 acres of sprawling Georgia pines, oaks and maple trees, its woodsy and serene environment lends itself well to offering a perfect setting to write without the distractions of the familiar.

Also, Barnes is Co-Founder and Executive Producer of the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival. This year in March marked its 15th Anniversary of producing over 400 solo artists and since 2005 teaching over 3000 public school youth. Performers from India , the Netherlands , New York , Chicago , Miami , Oklahoma and up and down the state of California joined hands to celebrate this year’s banner Festival year. The non-profit received much deserved commendations from Mayor Villaraigosa, Senators Diane Watson and Alex Padilla, Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, Councilman Tom La Bonge and Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

Said Barnes, “I have always been a trailblazer, and it is part of my life’s work to give creatively to every community I have been a part of. That certainly includes Los Angeles , and now Atlanta .”

To enroll in the Alliance Theatre’s “From Thought to Pen” workshop visit or call (404) 733-4700.

Reservations for The Writer’s Well may be made at or Call (818) 679-2086 for more information.

Barnes’ upcoming book, On My Own Terms: One Actor’s Journey chronicles her life as an artist from age sixteen. It will be released later this year. For more information, visit


Barnes portrayed the recurring character of “Judge Randall” in Lifetime Television’s new series For the People.  She recently premiered in HBO’s critically acclaimed Iron Jawed Angels.  She can also be seen currently in a VISA national commercial. 

Barnes is the founder of the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival (“LAWTF”) - an annual, multi-cultural festival for solo female performers throughout the country who gather each year in the month of March to perform in the disciplines of dance, theatre, story-telling, poetry, music, performance art and comedy. Danny Glover and Hattie Winston are co-chairs.  

Barnes is an acting teacher to some of Hollywood’s finest, including Benjamin Bratt (for Law & Order); Toni Braxton (for Play’d and Kingdom Come); Jada Pinkett-Smith (for Set it Off); Don “DC” Curry (for Grace Under Fire) Kym Whitley and many others. 

Barnes co-starred as Anna in Erin Brokovich and was the character Anne Marie on ABC’s Roseanne for five seasons.    

Barnes guest-stars on several sitcoms including CBS’ Family Law and The Agency, WB’s The Gilmore Girls, and UPN’s Roswell 

Barnes is writer and producer of her own historical one-woman, international touring show, I Am That I Am: Woman, Black, a captivating journey through the lives of seven African American women, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Mary McLeod Bethune, Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Angelou, Lorraine Hansberry and Angela Davis.  

Barnes was born in the small northern California town of Oroville, in the Sacramento Valley, the fifth of seven children.  

After receiving a B.A. in Theatre Arts at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Barnes moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and began stage training at the American Conservatory Theatre (ACT). At ACT, Barnes became the first African American female to teach full-time in their Advanced Training Program. In 1989 Barnes headed for Hollywood to pursue a career in television and film.  

As a mentor, Barnes was recently chosen by 16-year old New Jersey scholar, Sasha Pemberton who lived with and “shadowed” Barnes’ daily routines and show business aspects for 3 ½ weeks as part of a Summer Signature Program offered by the prestigious Peddie School in Heightstown, New Jersey.




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