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Barter Connects is a series of post-show discussions designed to connect audiences with the play on a deeper level. Come join in great conversations with incredible people! Each event will start immediately after its preceding show; You do not need to attend the show that day to attend, though we do recommend it to be able to participate fully. While everyone is welcome to participate in these conversations with us, you can also just sit back and observe the dialogue! Whatever works best for you.


This year the Barter Connects event will also shine a light on local businesses/nonprofits whose missions align with the stories we are telling. Read more about what Barter Connects events we have planned in 2024 below.


* Events curated by our Black Stories Black Voices (BSBV) program will be marked with an asterisk; You may also view all BSBV Events for 2024 by clicking here.




Sunday, June 30th after the 3pm matinee of THE WIZARD OF OZ on Gilliam Stage

Although it’s true that Dorothy was able to find her way home to Auntie Em and Uncle Henry, not all children have relatives to care for them. Of those who don’t, the lucky ones follow the yellow brick road to Mountain Mission School in Grundy, VA. Join Barter Connects in welcoming Libby Zabit (Barter Resident Company Member portraying Dorothy) and Jessica Hertzog (Director of Education) as they discuss the home and family Mountain Mission has provided for thousands of at-risk youth over the course of its 100 year history.


Sunday June 23rd after the 3pm matinee of THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION on Gilliam Stage

Hope was the only thing keeping Andy Dufresne alive in Shawshank prison – hope that the truth would come out, that his name would be cleared, and he would be free once more. But for many ex-offenders, the hope that freedom brings quickly fades when faced with the challenges of reentry into society. Join us as we connect with Sam McCalla (portraying DuFresne) and Chris Snipes (Case Manager at People Inc.) as we discuss how their organization Virginia CARES addresses the successful reentry and de-institutionalization of felons in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Sunday, July 7th after the 3pm matinee of CRY IT OUT at Barter’s Smith Theatre

Whether a woman decides to stay-at-home with her child or chooses to reenter the workforce, motherhood comes with daily sacrifice. Here to talk about the effect motherhood had on their career are Barter (current and former) Resident Company members Wendy Piper, Ashley Campos, Mary Lucy Bivins, Carrie Smith Lewis, and Costume Designer Sydney de Briel. Joining these amazing actors is Dr. Jaclyn Nunziato, Executive Director of Huddle Up Moms, whose mission is to empower all mothers in the New River Valley through education, meaningful connections, and community support.


Thursday, August 8th after the 7:30pm show of THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION on Gilliam Stage

Barter Connects celebrates the 8th of August by welcoming Ron Carson, founder of the Appalachian African American Cultural Center, to its Gilliam Stage. Ron will join Terrance Jackson, Barter’s Director of BSBV, for a discussion on what freedom meant for the first to celebrate the 8th of August, and what it means for the Black community today. An important conversation – please join us!

* This is a Black Stories Black Voices Community Event



Friday, Sept 27th after the 7:30pm show of THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG on Gilliam Stage

It happens to every theater practitioner in the world, regardless of role; The show is going along swimmingly and then an actor forgets an entrance (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), or a set piece malfunctions (opening night of Misery), or the power goes out (closing night of Richard III). Although these moments feel disastrous at the time, they are fraught with hilarity when recalled from the safety of the present. To that end, Barter invites you to connect post-show with some of our actors and technicians who endured a play that went wrong and lived to laugh about it. Great stories, great people, and great fun!


Sunday, October 13th after the 3pm matinee of SHERLOCK HOLMES on Gilliam Stage

Ever since Arthur Conan Doyle first penned A Study in Scarlet in 1887, the world has been obsessed with its super-sleuth Sherlock Holmes. What is it about Holmes and his best friend Dr. Watson that has fascinated readers for years? Here to answer that question, and many more, is Wofford College’s Laura and Winston Hoy, Professor of Humanities and resident Sherlock Holmes expert Dr. Tracy Revels. Dr. Revels has written three Sherlock Holmes novels and in 2021 was inducted into the Baker Street Irregulars, an exclusive literary society in New York City dedicated to the fictional detective. We guarantee you’ll have a good time connecting with this Sherlockian expert – why, it’s elementary, my dear Watson!


Wednesday, October 23rd after the 2pm matinee of THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL at Barter’s Smith Theatre

In The Trip to Bountiful, the elderly Carrie Watts is sharing a cramped Houston apartment with her son Ludie and his wife Jessie Mae. Living in such close quarters is putting a strain on already stressful relationships; if only there was somebody who understood how hard this is…oh wait, there is! Barter Connects is thrilled to welcome Brandi Pettey, Care Coordination Director for Mountain Empire Older Citizens (MEOC). Brandi will discuss her organization’s mission, which includes providing a variety of services such as senior transit, information and resources for nutrition/wellness, and counseling. Please join us for this important conversation.



Sunday, December 1st after the 3pm matinee of GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN at Barter’s Smith Theatre

What better way to follow up a Christmas show celebrating Appalachia than to celebrate two wonderful organizations dedicated to the preservation of Appalachian culture? Join Barter Connects in welcoming folks from Appalachian Sustainable Development and The Crooked Road as they, along with Barter actor Eugene Wolf, discuss what makes Appalachia a great place to live, and the things we can do to make it even better. This conversation promises to be the perfect Christmas gift for your friends and family!


Thursday, December 12th after the 7:30pm show of A CHRISTMAS CAROL on Gilliam Stage

Carol – the word we use to designate songs sung at Christmastime – is derived from the Old French word carole, which refers to a circle of dancers singing and holding hands. There has always been something magical about a group of people singing in unison, especially when that group is singing a Christmas carol. Here to talk about the work involved in creating such a “joyful noise” is Jane Morison, Artistic Director of the Mountain Empire Children’s Choral Academy. Jane will discuss MECCA’s mission, how she puts together their Christmas concert, and the benefits received by children who are part of a choral community. Joining Jane to talk about their own choir experiences will be Barter actors Zoe Velling and Zachaeus Kimbrell, along with the show’s director Katy Brown. Come join in the Christmas fun!

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