Herbie Barnes (Anishinaabe from Aundeck Omni Kaning on Manitoulin Island) has played many roles throughout his twenty year career, both on stage and on film but may best be known for his role of Joseph in the film Dance Me Outside and on the CBC series The Rez. Some of Herbie’s best-known stage roles include Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, or as Norval Morrisseau in Copper Thunderbird by Marie Clements (National Arts Centre) or singing and dancing as a Wickersham Brother in Seussical The Musical.
Herbie was part of the National Arts Centre English Theatre acting company 2014.2015 and was featured in Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Herbie has spent just as much time behind the scenes as in front. As a director he’s worked across North America. Directing large pieces such as The Remember (MTYP) and Someday by Drew Hayden Taylor (Native Earth) to one man shows such as Tales Of An Urban Indian (Public Theatre NYC, Autry Theatre in Los Angelos, CA) and Dinky (Native Earth). Herbie spent time directing such films as ReprREZentin’ in Fort Chip and also as a shadow director with The Rez (CBC).
Herbie’s Play Russell’s World was honoured to be the first play ever to be asked to the Magnetic North Festival without premiering elsewhere. While not know as a writer for stage he is better known as a dramaturge working to develop a number of great plays and emerging playwrights.
Herbie has also written for television shows including Buffalo Tracks and Tipi Tales, a show that also uses his performing talents as a puppeteer and voice talent.
As a teacher he has spent time in inner city high schools, private schools, universities, and many theatre companies. Herbie’s workshop “Dropping the Mask”, a study of who the performer is before deciding who they will become has been used in many treatment centres in North America for work with survivors of abuse and is also useful when developing a voice for writers for young audiences.