The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

Celebrating the visionaries who created New York's vibrant Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater.

Barbara Montgomery

Barbara Montgomery

Co-Founder of Black Women in Theater, Inc., Actress, Director
Born on Sunday, June 25, 1939

Interviewed on: Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Location: Primary Stages Offices
Interviewed by: Casey Childs
Interview #71
"Off-Broadway for me, it just opened my soul."
Barbara Montgomery Highlights
Video Length: 6 Minutes, 2 Seconds
Barbara Montgomery Interview Part One
Video Length: 1 Hour, 2 Minutes
Barabara Montgomery Interview Part Two
Video Length: 1 Hour, 3 Minutes

As an actress, Barbara Montgomery has performed on stage, on television, and in film. Her television and film career is long and distinguished. She was born in East Orange, New Jersey and since high school loved music, singing, and making classmates laugh. She came to New York City in the late 1950’s, studying with Vinette Carroll and performing in the Urban Arts Corps. She has received an OBIE and several AUDELCO awards.

The first show Montgomery performed in was THE TERRACED APARTMENT (1968) by Steve Carter at the Old Reliable. Later, she performed in CALIGULA (1977), directed by Tom O’Horgan at La MaMa E.T.C. She also worked at the Theater de Lys and The Public and was a member of The Negro Ensemble Company. She was in BLACK VISIONS (1972), THOUGHTS (1973), LES FEMMES NOIRES (1974),and MY SISTER, MY SISTER (1974), for which she won an OBIE. In 1983, with Mary Alice, Montgomery co-founded and was Artistic Director of Black Women in Theater, Inc. With this company, she wrote, directed, and performed in THE ACTRESS. In 2013, she directed her first movie, Mitote, with Ruby Dee and S. Epatha Merkerson.  She has directed the plays of Paul Green at LaMama E.T.C. and Leslie Lee’s BLUES IN A BROKEN TONGUE (2005), wrote and directed Cacao Dolce (1999) and L’Inizio del Dolore (2002) at La MaMa Umbria,and was the Director in Residence for Opera Ebony, as well as directing Showboat (2007) for The Mercury Opera in Rochester, New York. Some of Montgomery’s Broadway credits include: the musical Raisin (1973), Kennedy’s Children (1975), and The Tap Dance Kid (1984).

Mentioned in Interview

Vinette Carroll, Ellen Stewart, Paul Green, Neil Flanagan, Tom O’Horgan, Woodie King, Jr., Robert Patrick, La MaMa E.T.C., Negro Ensemble Company, Black Women in Theater, Urban Arts Corps, The Old Reliable, MACBETH, MY SISTER MY SISTER, CALIGULA, LES FEMMES NOIRES, THE FIRST BREEZE OF SUMMER, KENNEDY’S CHILDREN, THOUGHTS, THE GREAT MACDADDY, WAITING FOR MONGO, NEVIS MOUNTAIN DEW, THE TERRACED APARTMENT