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



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.

Read more

David and Jane Walentas

A transformational gift for UVA — $100 million to benefit first-generation students

Read more


The Jefferson Scholarship is the premier undergraduate scholarship at the University of Virginia. Scholars are selected through a rigorous selection process that is based on exceptional performance in the areas of leadership, scholarship and citizenship.

Read more