Exploring African-American history and culture

Kristen Barrett, JS '20, organized U.Va.'s 12-Hour Play Project as part of Black History Month

February 21, 2019

Before making her way to the University in the fall of 2016, Kristen Barrett, the Farish Family Jefferson Scholar, already was proving herself as an actor, director, producer, and playwright. At her high school in Nashville, she served as president of the drama club and acted in numerous productions, including As I Lay Dying, Damn Yankees, and As You Like It. She also won several acting awards and was inducted into the International Thespian Society.

So, not surprisingly, upon matriculating at U.Va., Kristen quickly immersed herself in the drama community. Now a third year, Kristen has emerged as a leader in the arts, serving as director of Shakespeare on the Lawn, a student-run theatre troupe, and as president of Paul Robeson Players, which focuses on producing works that explore African and African-American history and culture.

Recently, as part of her role with Paul Robeson Players, Kristen organized an annual event called “12-Hour Play Project” during which U.Va. students write, direct, rehearse, and perform a series of plays within a 12-hour span. 





Kristen Barrett

Farish Family Jefferson Scholar


David and Jane Walentas

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The Jefferson Fellowship is the premier graduate fellowship offered at the University of Virginia. Based solely on merit, the Fellowship seeks to attract Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates.

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The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, like its namesake, knows that virtue and talent come from all walks of life. Indeed it is this knowledge that drives the Foundation to search the world over for its recipients.

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