Bonnie Banfield began professional life as an actress and appeared on stage in New York and Los Angeles, in movies, including Five On The Black Hand Side, on television (including Guest Starring roles on Good Times and Sanford and Son) and in many, many commercials.
Leaving that field to care for her two young sons she worked as Administrator in several doctor’s offices, as a Consultant on Insurance Billing and expert in recovering fees initially denied by insurance companies.
Banfield is a Founding Member of the arts organization L. A. Theatre Works, which began as Artists In Prison, a group of young arts professionals, who conducted acting, writing and dance workshops in prisons, mental institutions and community centers. At Terminal Island Federal Prison and California Institution for Women, Artists In Prison developed original theatre pieces, some of which were performed before audiences invited into the prison. On two occasions permission was granted to transport inmates to the Mark Taper Forum Annex Theater, where the pieces were performed. The organization produced the documentary Jump Street, which chronicled the development of an original play through the workshop process.
At California Institution for Women, Banfield conducted Acting Workshops and Writing Workshops, culminating in the development of two original theatre pieces, Pop 31 and Lines. She also served as Director of both productions, which played to audiences invited into the prison.
As Artists In Prison and Other Places, the group developed and produced original contemporary plays, which were mounted in theatres throughout Los Angeles. They developed a piece with older and younger women, called Not As Sleepwalkers with the writer Deena Metzger, which was performed on stages around Los Angeles with professional actors and women from the Workshop. Subsequent to original production, in which Banfield appeared, she directed a production at The Odyssey Theatre.
L. A. Theatre Works was among the first group of recipients of the National Endowment for The Arts Institutional Advancement grant, which was instrumental in its growth and development.
Ms. Banfield was Producer on two medical radio call-in programs.