Barry Freeman

Associate Professor, Chair, Arts, Culture & Media at UTSC



Associate Professor, Theatre & Performance Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough


Barry Freeman is an Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough as well as the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. His 2017 book Staging Strangers: Theatre and Global Ethics (McGill-Queen’s University Press), draws on ethical philosophy and the sociology of globalization to offer a fresh critique of contemporary theatre in Canada. His 2016 co-edited book In Defence of Theatre: Aesthetic Practices and Social Interventions (University of Toronto Press), assembles essays from nineteen academics, educators and artists from across Canada to address the question: why theatre now? Barry is Associate Editor of Canadian Theatre Review, recently editing issues on the subjects of ‘Alternative Globalizations’, ‘Performing Politicians’, ‘Post-truth’ and ‘Applied Theatre’.

Selected projects

Current early stage research project: Life is Here: Theatre as a 21st-century Ethical Education.

Also in progress, The Production Listing for Enhanced Diversity and Gender Equity (PLEDGE) Project.

PLEDGE aims to improve the number of women playwrights produced in post-secondary theatre programs in Canada. Multiple academic studies conducted over three decades confirm that women are woefully underrepresented in positions of higher creative and administrative influence in Canada (Fraticelli 1982; Burton 2006; MacArthur 2015). These reports point to education—to the places theatre people are trained—as a critical place to begin to correct the imbalance. While achieving a better balance of women produced is the primary aim, the project also hopes to help improve the diversity of voices reflected in settings of theatre education in Canada. In service of this aim, this website provides a new resource that will help educators begin to address the lack of gender equity in post-secondary theatre programs. This fully searchable database includes plays written by Canadian women that suggest a cast size of six or more. 


Director, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Bertolt Brecht), UTSC, 2016.

Director, 10 out of 12 (Anne Washburn), UTSC, 2018.


PhD, University of Toronto
MA, University of Toronto


Administrative Service

Chair, Arts, Culture & Media