Skip to main content

What is Barter Connects?

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 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 2023 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 2023 by clicking here.

BARTER CONNECTS EVENTS 2023

Skip to: Summer, Fall, Holiday

SPRING

NOTE: The times listed for the events below reflect when the connecting production begins; All Barter Connects events will start immediately following the end of the individual performances.

Barter Connects The Last Romance by Joe DiPietro

Saturday, April 1st at 2pm (Gilliam Stage) – IT’S NEVER TOO LATE FOR LOVE

Like so many of her age, Carol has given up on finding love. Enter Ralph, and suddenly her world is turned upside down. Unexpected love in unexpected places is the story behind The Last Romance – and the story behind the first in our Barter Connects series: join us in welcoming Barter’s Board of Trustees member Edwina Ripley and her husband Rip to our post-show discussion on finding Love in the golden years. Edwina and Rip will be joined by Leslie Pendleton, President of AARP’s Blacksburg chapter and Wilma Dotson, Membership Chair, who will speak to the benefits of companionship and connection as we age, as well as to the advantages that come with membership in our nation’s largest senior association.

Click to learn more about the show, or get tickets for any date throughout the run!

Barter Connects Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Saturday, April 15th at 2pm (Barter’s Smith Theatre) – RISIN’ ABOVE YOUR RAISIN’

In order to satisfy their ambition, Macbeth and his wife were willing to discard everything that tied them to their station – family, friends, loyalty to the king – all with disastrous results. How can we in Appalachia rise without discarding everything we are and everyone we love? Join Macbeth director Carrie Smith Lewis and United Way’s Ryan Henderson as they discuss the play as well as some of the programs and collaborations that help Appalachians rise up from their circumstances and seek their dreams while remaining true to their Appalachian roots.

Click to learn more about the show, or get tickets for any date throughout the run!

Barter Connects Keep on the Sunny Side by Doug Pote

Saturday, May 6th at 2pm (Gilliam Stage) – A.P. CARTER AND ME

Since its mini-production in the 2002 Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights, resident actor Eugene Wolf has portrayed A.P. Carter in every single Barter production of Keep on the Sunny Side. Meanwhile Rita Forrester, A.P.’s granddaughter, has been busy keeping A.P.’s memory alive and well at the Carter Family Fold, where she serves as Executive Director. Connect with these local legends as they join director Nick Piper in discussing what they have discovered about A.P Carter through the years of telling his story, and why the Carter Family music continues to be celebrated today.

Click to learn more about the show, or get tickets for any date throughout the run!

SUMMER

NOTE: The times listed for the events below reflect when the connecting production begins; All Barter Connects events will start immediately following the end of the individual performances.

Barter Connects Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau

Saturday, May 20th at 8pm (Barter’s Smith Theatre) – BLACK COAL*

The characters in Skeleton Crew each face tough choices when the Detroit auto-stamping factory where they’ve worked their entire career begins the process of shutting its doors. Do they stay? Do they go? When the coal industry began to leave Appalachia, Black coalfield communities were faced with the same dilemma. What happens to a community when its main industry leaves? Join BSBV Director and cast member Terrance Jackson as he talks with historian Ron Carson from the Appalachian African-American Cultural Center in Pennington Gap, VA about the challenges these communities faced and what they did to overcome them.
*This is a Black Stories Black Voices Community Event. 

Click to learn more about the show, or get tickets for any date throughout the run!

Barter Connects Sense & Sensibility by Kate Hamill (based on the novel by Jane Austen)

Saturday, July 1st at 8pm (Gilliam Stage) – WORKING WOMEN

When Mrs. Dashwood’s husband died, she and her three daughters found themselves destitute, left to the mercy of a societal structure that didn’t allow “ladies” to work. Fast forward to present-day Appalachia, and the challenges women still face today in joining the workforce. How much has really changed? Barter Theatre is excited to welcome Dr. Amanda Kinard, Vanderbilt Lecturer and lover of all things Jane Austen, as she discusses the economic realities for women in the time of Sense and Sensibility. Joining Amanda will be Robbie Pentecost and Jennifer Walden from the New Opportunity School for Women in Berea, KY, who will discuss the programming they have created to help the women of Appalachia achieve their dreams.

Click to learn more about the show, or get tickets for any date throughout the run!

Barter Connects Footloose by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie

Sunday, July 30th at 3pm (Gilliam Stage) – TIME TO CUT LOOSE!

In this Connects event, Barter’s Resident Choreographer Ashley Campos will be discussing the role dance played in her life as a small town girl growing up in Ringgold, GA and how it affected her choreography for this show. Ashley will be joined by Deirdre Cole, the Artistic Director of Highlands Ballet, who will be discussing the importance of dance in the development of a young person’s physical and mental growth. And as an extra bonus, Ashley will teach a modified dance combination from the show (nothing too tough, we promise) for those of you ready to cut loose!

Click to learn more about the show, or get tickets for any date throughout the run!

Barter Connects Country Girls by Stephen Brown

Saturday, August 5th at 8pm (Barter’s Smith Theatre) – ALL IN THE FAMILY

Family can get complicated, and no one knows that better than Larry, Megan’s adopted father in Country Girls. As he struggles to hang on to his rollercoaster relationship with his precious tween, we get a glimpse into the world of nature versus nurture and just what it means to be “family.” To that end, Barter Connects is thrilled to welcome Megan Hamilton, a volunteer at Isaiah 117 House here in Abingdon, VA to the Smith Theatre stage. Megan will join director Sarah Van Deusen in discussing what form family takes in the play, and the means by which Isaiah 117 House creates family from the children who come there seeking refuge.

Click to learn more about the show, or get tickets for any date throughout the run!

FALL

NOTE: The times listed for the events below reflect when the connecting production begins; All Barter Connects events will start immediately following the end of the individual performances.

Barter Connects CLUE by Sandy Rustin (based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn)

Saturday, September 23rd at 2pm (Gilliam Stage) – WHODUNNIT COSTUME CONTEST

What’s Halloween season without a costume contest? Barter Connects invites this September 23rd matinee audience to come to the show dressed as their favorite CLUE character and stay for a post-show discussion with Barter Resident Costume Designer Lee Martin as he describes the why and how of his design for the show. Lee will be joined by Anna Buchanan, Curator of Contemporary Fine Art & Craft for William King Museum, who will discuss how she picked the costumes displayed in their recent “Best of Barter” exhibit. Afterwards, the costumed characters will join our panelists on the stage, where Lee & Anna will judge the winner and present them with their own Clue board game signed by the cast. A guaranteed fun evening for everyone!

NOTE: The Clue Costume Contest will be hosted across the street after the show in Barter’s Smith Lounge.

Click to learn more about the show, or get tickets for any date throughout the run!

Barter Connects To Kill a Mockingbird by Christopher Sergel (based on the novel by Harper Lee)

Friday, September 8th at 8pm (Gilliam Stage) – WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO TOM ROBINSON?

Atticus was told that Tom Robinson was killed trying to escape – but is that really true? How does that story fit with what we know about Tom from the book? How does this story change when viewed from a Black perspective? Join the Black cast members of To Kill a Mockingbird and special guest Adam Dickson, Adjunct Instructor of Political Science at ETSU and Supervisor of the Langston Centre in Johnson City, TN as they discuss the context, history, and themes surrounding racial inequality and injustice in the book, the play and our world at large.
*This is a Black Stories Black Voices Community Event. 

Click to learn more about the show, or get tickets for any date throughout the run!

Barter Connects Misery by William Goldman (based on the novel by Stephen King)

Tuesday, October 31st at 7:30pm (Smith Theatre) – A SPOOKY LITTLE GIRL LIKE YOU

In Misery, a novelist is kidnapped by a crazed fan and held hostage until he writes her the book of her dreams… the perfect Halloween story! Come connect with us after the show as we continue the theme with another spooky story told by one of our region’s finest! Dr. Flora Joy is described as the “mother” of storytelling in our region, and is responsible for creating the Master’s in Communication and Storytelling Program at ETSU. Dr. Joy will extend your Halloween horror with a short tale guaranteed to send shivers up your spine, followed by a discussion with Betty Ann Polaha from the Jonesboro Storytelling Guild of why the art form of storytelling is so important to our area. So, bring your candy and bring a date for a Halloween you will never forget!

Click to learn more about the show, or get tickets for any date throughout the run!

HOLIDAY

NOTE: The times listed for the events below reflect when the connecting production begins; All Barter Connects events will start immediately following the end of the individual performances.

Barter Connects Miracle on 34th Street by Doug Smith (Book and Lyrics by Vern Stefanic)

Saturday, December 9th at 2pm (Gilliam Stage) – THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD

Doris’s daughter Susan doesn’t believe in Santa Claus… and then Susan meets Kris Kringle, the new Santa at Macy’s Department Store. Kris and his goodness slowly chip away at Susan’s cynicism until her faith is restored, just part of the Miracle on 34th Street. Barter loves the joy Santa brings to children at Christmas, and to that end, we are proud to welcome to our stage Mr. Don Royston, a.k.a. Santa Claus from the Appalachian Santa Train. The Appalachian Santa Train is sponsored by the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce. This year makes Don’s 25th portraying the jolly old elf, distributing toys, food, clothing, and candy to thousands of people along the train’s 14 stops from Pikeville, KY to Kingsport, TN. Join us as Don shares memories and stories from his time on the most wonderful train of all.

Click to learn more about the show, or get tickets for any date throughout the run!

Barter Connects I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Catherine Bush

Friday, December 22nd at 8pm (Barter’s Smith Theatre) – THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Whether by land, by sea, or by air, every Christmas, millions of Americans find themselves traveling to the place they love best – Home – and the characters in I’ll Be Home for Christmas are no exception. Join Barter Connects director Terrance Jackson and resident actor Hannah Ingram as they talk with local travel agents about the challenges faced by these characters. These travel experts will also share tips for staying stress-free while traveling during the holiday season. At the end of the session, there will be time for you to share stories of your own traveling nightmares… just be prepared for the rest of us to ho-ho-ho!

Click to learn more about the show, or get tickets for any date throughout the run!

Successfully Logged In