Theatre & Filmarrow_forward
Faculty & Staffarrow_forward
Adanma Onyedike Barton
Adanma Onyedike Barton
Associate Professor of Theatre|Theatre
Portrait of Adanma Onyedike Barton
Office Location
Jelkyl Drama Center, 206
Office Hours
  • Mon/Wed: 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Class Schedules
  • THR 105 (Tue/Thur: 10:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.)
  • THR 115 (Tue/Thur: 1:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.)
  • THR 308 (Mon/Wed: 12:40 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.)
  • Script Analysis
  • Principles of Acting
  • GSTR 110
  • GSTR 210
  • Senior Theatre Project
  • Theatre and the Rise of Mass Media
  • African-American Theatre
  • Feminist Solo Performance
  • Advanced Acting

“In my career, what I’ve always tried my best to do, whether on television or through film, is to say something about how men and women really behave. To say how we experience shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere, and how we overcome.” – Oprah Winfrey

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.” – Nelson Mandela

“I am the American Dream. I am the epitome of what the American Dream basically said. It said, you could come from anywhere and be anything you want in this country. That’s exactly what I’ve done. I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities.” – Whoopi Goldberg  

Adanma Onyedike Barton came to Berea College from Richmond, Virginia. While in Virginia she taught both the Speech for Business and Professionals and the Black Theatre course for Virginia Commonwealth University. Adanma also simultaneously taught for the School of Performing Arts in Richmond Communities (SPARC), and the Henrico High School Center for the Arts. Adanma has also taught for the Virginia Governor’s School of Visual and Performing Arts and the Acting for Non Majors course at the University of Virginia. A professional actor for over 10 years, some of Adanma’s favorite productions include Intimate Apparel at the Barksdale Theater , Return to the Upright Position at the Firehouse Theater, and For Colored Girls… at Raymond Hodges Theater. In Kentucky, Adanma had the honor of originating the role of Lt. Kara Bridges in the World Premiere of “The Year of the Rabbit” at the Balagula Theatre in Lexington.  The play, by Keliher Walsh, was the inaugural winner of the Kentucky Women Writers Conference Award judged by OBIE award winner Naomi Wallace. Adanma is a proponent of the power of positive thinking. She enjoys teaching her students to not only find the joy within themselves but to spread that happiness to others.

Prof. Barton was proudly the first African-American female to serve on the Executive Committee of the largest Theatre Conference in the United States – the Southeastern Theatre Conference and she was the first African-American President of the Kentucky Theatre Association.

In 2017, Adanma completed a six state tour of her solo performance entitled “Lost and Found” which navigated issues pertaining to Women’s Reproductive Health.

  • M.F.A. Theatre Pedagogy: Acting, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2009
  • B.F.A. Theatre Performance, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2003
Publications & Works
  • Honors and Awards

    • Delivered 2009 Theatre VCU Graduate Commencement Address
    • 1st African-American female President of Kentucky Theatre Association
    • 1st African-American female to serve on the Executive Committee of the South Eastern Theatre Conference
    • Skirt! Magazine Indie Woman July 2012
    • ARCT Sabbatical Fellowship Recipient 2016-201


    • Assoc. for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)
    • Alpha Psi Omega (APO) – Faculty sponsor Berea College Chapter
    • Black Theatre Network (BTN)
    • South Eastern Theatre Conference Diversity Committee (SETC)
    • Virginia Commonwealth University African American Alumni Council
    • Appalachian Studies Association (ASA)
    • Immediate Past President of KTA
    • South Eastern Theatre Conference
  • Research Programs

    • African-American Theatre, Solo Performance, Devised Theatre for Community Development & Social Change
    • Multicultural Theatre and Devised Performance
  • Publications

    • “Helping a Cause: College Develops Play about Domestic Violence to Benefit Local Battered Woman’s Shelter” Southern Theatre Magazine. Volume LII, Number 4 Fall 2011: 14-15, 32.
    • “Four Elephants” STILL: The Journal.  Summer 2012.
    • “Normalizing Disruption: Advocating for Reproductive Health in Academia.” With Meredith Conti, Kristi Good, and Ariel Nereson. Theatre Topics, Vol 29, Number 1, March 2019.


    • “Indie Women” Skirt Magazine (Lexington, KY), Reporter, Donna Ison. July 2012
    • “Berea College: Best Practices in Service Learning” Kentucky Campus Compact. Web.
    • “EKU, Berea plan events for Black History Month” Richmond Register, Reporter: Tim Mandell.
    • “This is My Heart for You: World Premiere” WTVQ ABC 36, Reporter: Lauren Gawthrop.
    • “Berea Theatre Takes on a Summer of Hate” WKYT CBS 27, Reporter: Tim Johnston.