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Barbara Hall ('82)

Television Writer and Producer

Photo: Barbara Hall ('82)

Emmy-nominated writer and producer Barbara Hall has always been a woman of substance, even in Hollywood, where trivialization and exploitation are often the keys to success. Hall's television programs, movies, novels and poetry have talked about the big things in life, like Mom, God and relationships. "I do feel that a television show is a big conversation with the world. Any writing is. Great writers that I admire aren't lecturing me. They're engaging me in a conversation or debate or series of questions or they're pondering something." Hall has avoided the small ideas of stereotypes and brought substance to prime time. Her steady success with hits like Judging Amy and Joan of Arcadia comes from the drama of relationships among characters of substance, most notably (and refreshingly) women. Her critically acclaimed Joan of Arcadia broke new ground by conducting a theological discussion with the American public. God on TV? That was unheard of. Barbara Hall -- wry, imaginative, inspiring -- changed television.

"I do feel that a television show is a big conversation with the world. Any writing is. Great writers that I admire aren't lecturing me. They're engaging me in a conversation or debate or series of questions, or they're pondering something."