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Press Release

Barter Theatre Hosts 21st Annual Young Playwrights Festival!

By November 15, 2022April 21st, 2023No Comments

Barter Theatre Hosts 21st Annual Young Playwrights Festival!

(Abingdon, VA) — Barter Theatre’s 21st Annual Young Playwrights Festival took place on November 14, 2022 with two performances in the morning at Gilliam Stage for over 800 students, and a public evening performance also at Barter’s Gilliam Stage.

The 2022 festival included 286 plays written by 413 playwrights from 11 high schools in Virginia and Tennessee. Since its inception in 2002, Barter’s Young Playwrights Festival has included over 4,600 plays and over 6,900 playwrights.

2022’s first-place winner is Beginning, written by Ashely Bobbitt and Victoria Arnder from Carroll County High School, whose teacher is Makayla Tobler.

The second-place winner is The Standoff, written by Wyatt Peters, whose teacher is Seth Grindstaff.

Third place is Mime Your Business, written by Angelina Fitzgerald from West Ridge High School, whose teacher is Seth Grindstaff.

The Honorable Mention plays, in no particular order, are: Mafiosos by James Greer, Marion Senior High School, Teacher: Todd Necessary; The Current by Katelynn Mitchell, West Ridge High School, Teacher: Seth Grindstaff; The Duel by Bethanie Haga, West Ridge High School, Teacher: Seth Grindstaff; Tony’s Dream by Madelyn Tolbert, Northwood High School, Teacher: David Burns; and From Hereafter by Loren Watson, Elizabethton High School, Teacher: Sara Hardin.

The Young Playwrights Festival is an annual event that cultivates and celebrates the talent of high school students. The purpose of this Festival is to encourage the development of students’ writing skills and creativity, with the added benefit of discovering talented playwrights in our region. (Teachers are taught playwriting by Quinton Cockrell, professional playwright, director, and actor. Teachers then instruct their students, who have a 7-week period to create their original works, which are then submitted to Barter. Every student’s play gets individualized comments and feedback from Barter professionals. The three winning plays are lightly staged at Barter Theatre by professional actors, and the honorable mention plays are given a reading. Writers of the top three plays receive cash prizes and a mentoring session with a Barter professional, which allows the students to have valuable one-on-one time with experts in the field of theatre and playwriting.)



Barter Theatre, the nation’s longest running professional theatre, is located in Abingdon, Virginia. The theatre opened in 1933 during the Great Depression. Founder Robert Porterfield offered patrons admission to the theatre by bartering food and livestock. Barter Theatre was designated as the State Theatre of Virginia in 1946. It exists today as one of the last year-round professional resident repertory theaters remaining in the United States. Barter Theatre is funded in part by The Virginia Commission for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts.


For more information:

(276) 619-3308

201 Trigg St., Abingdon, VA 24210



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