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Alumni Profile: Theatre alum Charlie Barfield is going in a new direction

Theatre Program alum Charlie Barfield branched out from his theatre coursework while at Seminole State, taking courses in geology and African-American humanities. He says the latter course provided inspiration for his directing career. 

Life has a way of twisting and turning and surprising us with directions that we sometimes didn’t see coming. If someone had asked Charlie Barfield what he thought he’d be when he grew up, he might have told them he’d become a marine biologist someday. But if someone had asked him as he was entering Seminole State College of Florida, he would have said he wanted to become an actor. And act he did. He performed in Playboy of the Western World as well as Nunsense, and in numerous other roles in college courses and throughout middle and high school as well.

While at Seminole State College in the Theatre Program, Barfield remembers a defining moment when several of his professors told him that he was really good at acting. In the past, he had felt passionate about the craft, but no one had really pushed him toward it. Professor Richard Harmon and Interim Dean Paul Luby compelled Barfield to be the best version of himself and made him want to pursue his passions. When Barfield thinks back to what he is most proud of during his time at Seminole State, he recalls the risks he took while there – risks involving roles, risks involving coursework, and risks involving friends, and he attributes a lot of the self-confidence he had to take those risks to the assurance Harmon and Luby instilled in him.

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A graduate of Apopka High School, Barfield spent many of his formative years in the Central Florida area, so it was natural that he’d elect to continue his studies at a local college. Seminole State’s Theatre Program is well-respected, and it wasn’t long before Barfield found himself engaged in productions such as Gem of The Ocean (as stage manager) and Six Characters in Search of an Author (as director). When his schedule allowed, he would remain on campus to participate in Tuesday Voices, the College’s open-mic poetry reading series sponsored by the English Department.

Barfield took full advantage of his time at Seminole State, branching out from his theatre coursework to also take classes such as geology and African-American humanities. He laughs a little as he states how often he still brings up some of the ‘nerdy’ information from his geology class but says that the professor instilled some information that really stuck with him and still applies in his everyday life.

After graduating with his associate degree in 2016, Barfield participated in DirectConnect to UCF, where he started in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) Acting program. However, not long into the program, he realized that his passion was really in directing, so he decided to pursue that. In fact, just last year, Barfield directed the production Almost, Maine at Seminole State.

When asked which courses at Seminole State he applies most when directing productions, he states that many of the classes he took for his associate degree in acting, of course, are relevant, but the class that has surprisingly stood out as one that has really impacted his directing career is the aforementioned African-American humanities course, taught by Professor Trent Tomengo.

“That class opened my eyes to the fact that I didn’t want to just act the story; I wanted to help create it,” Barfield stated.

These days, you can find Barfield working as a director on several different film projects, as he’s also applying to different film schools in New York and California to pursue his directing career further. It’s an exciting time for Barfield as he zeros in on his passion of directing, a passion that Seminole State helped him find.

Charlie Barfield (front row center) with the cast of Seminole State's production of 'Almost, Maine,' which he directed as part of the College's 2017-18 theater season.


Seminole State College Alumni Association: The Seminole State College Alumni Association provides benefits and services for alumni as they continue their lifelong connection with Seminole State College of Florida, providing opportunities for them to network with one another, interact with the student body and support the College. To learn more, visit the Alumni Association website.

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