Achievements


Barter Theatre is the state theatre of Virginia, the nation’s longest running professional theatre, and has received countless awards and accolades over its history. Barter Theatre has been a launching pad for the careers of many iconic actors and actresses. Below are some of our many groundbreaking achievements.

1997
Barter goes Off-Broadway for the first time since the 1960's with Doctors and Diseases. Barter receives Commonwealth of Virginia decree from Legislator in honor of Barter's 65th Birthday Season.

1996
Barter is one of three theatres in the U.S. to receive a challenge grant in the amount of $150,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts. Barter premiers in Rybinsk, Russia, with The Angel's Share marking the beginning of a continuing exchange between the Rybinsk Municipal Drama Theatre and Barter. In the summer of the same year, Rybinsk Theatre presents three plays in repertory at the Barter.

1995
Patricia Neal, a Barter Alum, visits for Barter's Day of the Woman, during which the Patricia Neal Scholarship for Barter acting interns is founded.

1993
The First Light Theatre is founded, providing live theatre for young audiences.

1979
Barter is given their first ever Virginia Governor's Award for Excellence in Art.

1978
Renovation of the Barter Playhouse (now Barter Stage II) is completed and to be used for new, experimental and innovative works.

1963
President Kennedy praises Robert Porterfield for Barter Theatre.

1956
Barter establishes the annual "Ernest Borgnine Award" to honor the best new actor of each season. Borgnine, a Barter Alum, won an Oscar preceding this event.

1948
Barter wins the Antoinette Perry "Tony" Award for Regional Theatre.

1946
Barter is designated The State Theatre of Virginia, making it the first professional theatre to attain this status.

1939
Robert Porterfield establishes the Barter Theatre Award Luncheon in New York City, given to the actor or actress who had made the most memorable contribution to the theatre during the previous year. The award consisted of a Virginia ham, a silver platter to eat it off of, and an acre of Southwest Virginia mountainside.