Teaching Philosophy

The classroom is a sacred place where significant personal and cultural change can occur if the right dynamic is established. Much like the theatre itself, the classroom is one of the few remaining gathering spaces for communal interaction in our contemporary world.

In treating my classroom as a stage, I embrace the paradox of discipline and joy that can be found in successful live performance: the joy of discovery and imagination is made possible by the disciplined rehearsals and constructions of the production team.

Image of Barnette teaching
photo by Abbey Lynn Smith

Doing your best is taking the action because you love it, not because you’re expecting a reward.”

– Don Miguel Ruiz


I grew up in a midwestern college town & got my undergraduate degree from Northwestern (Theatre & Women’s Studies), followed by an MA & PhD from UT-Austin (Theatre History & Criticism). I discovered dramaturgy in grad school!


I have been teaching in higher education for two decades, and working as a dramaturg who specializes in adaptation since 2006. I’m a director, an author, and a public speaker who also practices yoga and barre, and shares a feisty cat named Yentl with my spouse.

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