Our Mission

Enriching Lives Through Extraordinary Theatre

Barter is a resident company of passionate professional artists and leaders dedicated to serving and enriching our region by creating live theatre in repertory; by providing a nurturing environment for all involved; by embracing and celebrating Appalachia; by being stewards of the legacy of Barter Theatre; by using theatre as a vehicle for education; and by providing audiences, both youth and adult, with an extraordinary and enlightening experience each and every time they engage with us.

Barter Theatre, located in Abingdon, Virginia, opened on June 10, 1933 making it the nation’s longest running professional theatre. In 1933, when the country was in the middle of The Great Depression, spare money for a theatre ticket was not easy to come by. Robert Porterfield, founder of the theatre, offered a unique solution to allow locals to attend shows. Rather than traditional money, patrons could pay for admission to the theatre by bartering food, livestock or other goods. For 40 cents, or the equivalent in bartered goods, anyone could see a show. In 1946, Barter Theatre was designated as the State Theatre of Virginia. Today, Barter is one of the last year-round professional resident repertory theaters remaining in the United States.

Many well-known stars of stage, screen and television have performed early in their careers at Barter, including: Gregory Peck, Ernest Borgnine, Patricia Neal, Ned Beatty, Hume Cronyn, Gary Collins, Frances Fisher,Larry Linville, John Glover, Jim Varney, and Wayne Knight. Will Bigham, the 2007 winner of On The Lot, acted at Barter Theatre for several years.

The theatre is located within the Abingdon Historic District

Did You Know?

Gregory Peck got his start at the Barter Theatre

Gregory Peck was a popular film star in the 1940s through the 1960s. Peck received five Academy Award for Best Actor nominations, and won once – for his performance as Atticus Finch in the 1962 drama film To Kill a Mockingbird.

All Barter Shows

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Mature (With Warning)
Barter's Smith Theatre
August 29 - November 10
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Mature
Gilliam Stage at Barter Theatre
September 06 - November 08
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Mature
Barter's Smith Theatre
September 13 - November 08
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Mature
Gilliam Stage at Barter Theatre
September 19 - November 09
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Family Friendly
Barter's Smith Theatre
October 01 - November 13
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Family Friendly
Gilliam Stage at Barter Theatre
November 15 - December 29
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Family Friendly
Gilliam Stage at Barter Theatre
November 19 - December 21
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Family Friendly
Barter's Smith Theatre
November 21 - December 22
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Mature (With Warning)
Barter's Smith Theatre
November 26 - December 29
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127 W. Main Street, Abingdon, VA 24210
(276) 628-3991

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Give a Gift to Barter
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Recognition Prefix
Who is Being Recognized?
Your benefits package includes:
Producer ($10,000+)
  • All previous tiers plus
  • Usher concierge service at performances
  • Invitations to company parties
  • Additional customized benefits available upon request
Director ($5,000-$9,999)
  • All previous tiers plus
  • Access to a VIP hotline for reservations
  • VIP Will-Call for tickets & intermission concessions
  • follow the creation of a production from start to finish
Stage Manager ($2,500-$4,999)
  • All previous tiers plus
  • VIP parking
  • invitation to a dress rehearsal
Leading Role ($1,750-$2,499)
  • All previous tiers plus
  • invitations for two complimentary seats at each opening performance at Gilliam Stage at Barter Theatre and Stage II, including galas
Scene Stealer ($1,200-$1,749)
  • All previous tiers plus
  • invitation to watch the set being changed between performances
  • a production mini-poster signed by the cast
Supporting Role ($500-$1,199)
  • All previous tiers plus
  • unlimited use of 15% discount for Barter’s Gift Shop & concessions (non-alcohol)
Understudy ($250-$499)
  • All previous tiers plus
  • invitation to Theatre Thursdays, a luncheon & discussion series giving you an insider’s view of Barter Theatre
  • invitation to the 2020 season preview event
Player ($100-$249)
  • All previous tiers plus
  • Behind the scenes tour
Curtain Raiser ($50-$99)
  • listing in the souvenir program
  • biannual donor e-newsletter
  • window decal
Donate
Give a Monthly Gift to Barter
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$5/month
$10/month
$25/month
$45/month
$100/month
$150/month
$210/month
$420/month
$834/month
Your benefits package includes:
Producer
  • All previous tiers plus
  • Usher concierge service at performances
  • Invitations to company parties
  • Additional customized benefits available upon request
Director
  • All previous tiers plus
  • Access to a VIP hotline for reservations
  • VIP Will-Call for tickets & intermission concessions
  • follow the creation of a production from start to finish
Stage Manager
  • All previous tiers plus
  • VIP parking
  • invitation to a dress rehearsal
Leading Role
  • All previous tiers plus
  • invitations for two complimentary seats at each opening performance at Gilliam Stage at Barter Theatre and Stage II, including galas
Scene Stealer
  • All previous tiers plus
  • invitation to watch the set being changed between performances
  • a production mini-poster signed by the cast
Supporting Role
  • All previous tiers plus
  • unlimited use of 15% discount for Barter’s Gift Shop & concessions (non-alcohol)
Understudy
  • All previous tiers plus
  • invitation to Theatre Thursdays, a luncheon & discussion series giving you an insider’s view of Barter Theatre
  • invitation to the 2020 season preview event
Player
  • All previous tiers plus
  • Behind the scenes tour
Curtain Raiser
  • listing in the souvenir program
  • biannual donor e-newsletter
  • window decal
Donate