Allen Barton

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Allen Barton (born May 18, 1968) is an American playwright, director, acting teacher, classical pianist, and political commentator. He is known primarily for his longtime association with the Beverly Hills Playhouse, a Los Angeles-based acting school, and for his work on PJ Media's internet television service, PJTV, where he was host of The Front Page from 2008 through 2012.[1] His older brother, Fred Barton, is a New York-based pianist and composer. His father, David K. Barton, is a radar-systems engineer. His cousin was jazz saxophonist Paul Desmond.



After graduating from Harvard University in 1990,[2] Barton relocated to Los Angeles and began his studies as an actor at the Beverly Hills Playhouse (BHP). Over the next 20 years, he completed apprenticeships as a director and teacher under Milton Katselas, BHP's founder. Simultaneously with his artistic training, he began working part-time for BHP in 1993, rapidly ascending to become CFO in 1997 and then the school's youngest ever CEO in 2003. He began teaching for BHP in 2002, had a class under his own name in 2005, and taught alongside Katselas starting in 2007 up until Katselas' death in October 2008. Katselas bequeathed majority ownership to Barton, who still teaches at the school and oversees its operations, including expansion to both New York and San Francisco. Barton also maintains a blog for the BHP called The Oasis of Insanity.


Barton’s first play ENGAGEMENT was produced by the Skylight Theatre Company in Los Angeles in 2010,[3][4] and was mounted as well in San Francisco in 2014. His second play, YEARS TO THE DAY (2013) received significant critical acclaim, with his writing compared to that of Albee, Mamet and George Bernard Shaw.[5][6] Years to the Day was nominated in writing and acting categories by the LA Drama Critics Circle[7] and the LA Weekly, and was one of the latter’s Ten Best Plays of 2013.[8] It was performed in Paris in October, 2013, and also participated in the 59E59 St. Theatre’s “East To Edinburgh” Festival in June, 2014[9] on its way to a run at the 2014 Edinburgh Theatre Festival.[10] Barton’s third play, DISCONNECTION, received broad acclaim during its two Los Angeles runs in 2015.


As a director, Barton has helmed the following Los Angeles stage productions: ABOUT FAITH (2001), I MAKE YOU LAUGHING (2004), PINK DOT (2005), BURN THIS (2006), THE LAST FIVE YEARS (2007), RABBIT HOLE (2008), THE REAL THING [11] (2009), ENGAGEMENT (2010), and Project X presentations of THE HEIDI CHRONICLES (2012), OLEANNA (2013) and SPEED-THE-PLOW (2014).


As a classical pianist, Barton studied with Seth Kimmelman at New England Conservatory, and in Los Angeles with Bernardo Segall, Deborah Aitken and Mario Feninger. He was a prize-winner in the 2002 Los Angeles Liszt Society Competition, and has performed annual recitals in Los Angeles, New York, Boston and the New England area. He has recorded five compact discs, Debut Recital, 2, 3, 4, and 5, all available at, the iTunes Store, and various other online distribution outlets. In 2010 he was made a Steinway Artist.[12]

Political commentary[edit]

In 2008 Barton was hired by the online television service, PJTV of PJ Media. Barton hosted the popular show, The Front Page, a weekly collection of interviews with commentators from Investors Business Daily, the Ayn Rand Institute, as well as experts on politics, polling, economics and culture. In 2010 he interviewed Congressman Tom McClintock regarding the upcoming 2010 midterm elections and the state of the Obama presidency. The show was cancelled at the end of 2012 when PJTV moved to its Next Generation programming featuring former congressman Allen West.

Personal life[edit]

Allen Barton grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts and has an A.B. from Harvard University, where he studied Russian & Soviet Studies, and was a VP for the Hasty Pudding Theatricals.

Barton married Tiffany Yu in 2003, and they have three children.

In the mid-late 1990s, Barton was associated with Scientology,[13] and acted in many of their in-house films under the Golden Era Productions banner. In 2012, he became more of an outspoken critic, as he took on the movement's "disconnection" policy (the topic of his 2015 play DISCONNECTION), which affected Milton Katselas during his life.[14] He was interviewed in 2012 for Lawrence Wright's book about Scientology, "Going Clear."[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Front Page with Allen Barton". PJ Media. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Doug, Gavel. "Barton family reunion = class reunion". The Harvard University Gazette. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Foley, F. Kathleen (2010-07-30). "Theater review: 'Engagement' at the Beverly Hills Playhouse". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-17. 
  4. ^ Weaver, Neal (2010-08-13). "Engagement - The Katselas Theatre Company at the Beverly Hills Playhouse". Backstage. Retrieved 2010-11-17. 
  5. ^ Simon, Roger. "Years to the Day — A Play the Right Can Stomach". Pajamas Media. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Morris, Steven Leigh. "A Pair of Two-Person Shows". LA Weekly. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "2013 LADCC Special Award Recipients and Nominees". LA Drama Critics Circle. Retrieved 13 October 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  8. ^ "10 Best L.A. Plays of 2013". LA Weekly. Retrieved 13 October 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  9. ^ "East to Edinburgh: Years to the Day". New York Times. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Davies, Gareth. "Years to the Day – Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh". The Public Reviews. Retrieved 13 October 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  11. ^ Mitchell, Colin. "Critique of the Week – Runner Up". Bitter Lemons. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Steinway Artists". Steinway. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  13. ^ Oppenheimer, Mark (July 15, 2007). "Something happened". New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 
  14. ^ Ortega, Tony. "Milton Katselas Pleads With Scientology After Grant Cardone's Attack: A Church Jihad?". The Village Voice. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 

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