As Kingston WritersFest Associate Director, Barbara Bell is resposible for programming and production of the Festival. She has been with the Festival almost from the beginning of its renewal in 2009.
Besides being a brilliant organizer, she is also a gifted actress, theatrical producer, television host, editor, and writer.
Barbara won the Eastern Ontario Drama League’s Award for Best Actress in a leading role for her part in Dacia Maraini’s Mary Stuart, and she has appeared to rave reviews as Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire, the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest, and Clairee in Steel Magnolias, among others. Greg Burliuk, writing in the Whig-Standard, described her performance as Beatrice Page in J.M. Barrie’s Rosalind as “one of her best,” while Valerie Robertson, co-founder of Kingston’s Domino Theatre, said that in the role of Gertrude in Hamlet, Barbara was “flawless.” Her recent performance in the King’s Town Players production of Judith Thompson’s Perfect Pie brought audiences to tears.
Barbara’s one-woman play, Dreams and Desires, was staged at the Rankin Gallery, the Domino One-Act Play Festival in Kingston, fringe festivals in Saskatoon, Victoria, and Vancouver, and on Gabriola Island in 2008. In 2011, her production company, Shiny Object Creative, presented Charles Robertson’s one-act play Pretty Pieces at the Victoria Fringe Festival. Since then she has co-produced a film version of Pretty Pieces, which was screened at the 2013 Reel Heart International Film Festival, among others.
As co-producer and host of TVCogeco’s Pageturners: Kingston’s Book Club Barbara regularly interviewed local authors; among her many talents is a decided flair for
sparking lively conversation about books.
In 2014, Barbara takes over as Artistic Director of Kingston WritersFest.