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Appalachian Festival of Plays & Playwrights

Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights

We’re very excited to announce the lineup for Barter Theatre’s 20th Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights. We have a great collection of plays to celebrate this hallmark anniversary of the AFPP, so we hope you’ll come out in January and be part of the process of developing the new plays that matter to you. AFPP readings are free admission to the public, and the reading will take place at Smith Theatre. No reservation is required for attendance, but we would love to know you're coming. You can RSVP with our Box Office by calling 276-628-3991. To learn more about Barter's playwriting festivals, click here.

Thursday, January 23 at 7:30pm

They Must Be Women Now by Nedra Pezold Roberts

When Charlene, alias Sweet Tea, flees back home to Half Way, Georgia after getting fired from her job in Atlanta, she finds herself back in her mother’s world of Althea’s Bridal Boutique and Bail Bonds.  There’s Althea, who’s trapped in her fantasy of the perfect marriage.  There’s Olivia, a seamstress who helps others with their alterations both literal and metaphorical.  And then there’s Betsy, there to try on her wedding dress, which is fitting a little too tight.  These women, all confined in traps forged by their own time, culture, and individual journeys, are forced to discover themselves—and challenged to “become women now!”

Friday, January 24 at 1:00pm

Charlottesville by Catherine Bush

When Civil War re-enactor Curtis Jenkins is accused of being racist by a black 4th grader, he begins a fantastical journey down the rabbit-hole known as American race relations. On his voyage, he meets famous figures, both living and dead, who question his family’s legacy from Robert E. Lee. Then, one hot August day in Charlottesville, a Unite the Right rally explodes into violence, and Curtis must decide for himself how to judge the Past from the Present.

Friday, January 24 at 4:00pm

In the Middle of Nowhere by Bret Murphy

Cynthia Scott is a retired art professor who escapes to the Black Mountains of North Carolina after leaving her partner in Atlanta.  After purchasing a rundown trailer and two acres of land, her plan of settling into a life of solitude and shame is disrupted by a number of people in the community: a young man recently released from prison, a “Meals on Wheels” volunteer, and a true “mountain woman”.  Despite her desire to be left alone, these new relationships force her to confront her ultimate question:  will she accept forgiveness?

Saturday, January 25 at 1:00pm

Project X by Taylor Hatch

In 1944, a high school science teacher reads a newspaper ad: “Physicists Needed for Project X: a Project that will Win the War.” Eager to aide in the war effort, he immediately whisks his young family off to a secret city in the hills of Tennessee where he soon learns that his assignment is much heavier than he anticipated. As the weight of the responsibility and secrecy threatens to pull his family apart, he must make a choice that will affect generations to come. Based on a true story.

Saturday, January 25 at 4:00pm

The Field by Emily Emerson

The town of Avon is in trouble. With the local furniture plant closing down and hundreds out of work, everyone is in need of a miracle. One morning, a mysterious crop circle appears in a cornfield and with it, a series of unexplainable events cause the citizens to confront the question: If miracles do exist, what do you do with one when you get it? 

Sunday, January 26 at 1:00pm

Nightjar by Hannah Hartmann

This is Eastern Kentucky, coal country. The miner in his coal vein can’t stand up straight; a young man in his black vein is charged up in might. In 1950, a mining family is kicking off coal dust; business is good, and Della is the first of her family to leave for college. In 2017, the coal dust’s scrubbed clean, but Della’s still here, housing a family she didn’t expect. NIGHTJAR is a test of grace under pressure, from the interior and the exterior.

Sunday, January 26 at 4:00pm

The Quiet Zone by Augusto Federico Amador

In Green Bank, WV (pop. 143), home to the Robert C. Byrd telescope and located within the “National Radio Quiet Zone,” Krista has found relief from her turbulent past in her garden.  But when her estranged daughter, Becky, arrives with a hidden motive, Krista can no longer evade the consequences of being an absent mother. A story about lost and rediscovered motherhood.

RSVP with our Box Office at 276-628-3991

AFPP Heritage Dinner

Thursday, January 23 at 5:15pm - 7pm
Morgan's of Abingdon
190 East Main Street Abingdon, VA 24210

Celebrate our region with a benefit dinner prepared especially for Barter Theatre by  Morgan's, known for its riffs on traditional Appalachian cuisine with locally sourced  ingredients. Enjoy a "foodie chat" with restaurant co-owners Chef Stephen Gilbert & Morgan Gilbert, and a preview of this year's AFPP offerings by festival director Nicholas Piper. Click here to view the menu.
Tickets: $75 per person plus cash bar
Admission includes center section seating at Barter's Smith Theatre for the 7:30pm AFPP reading of They Must Be Women Now by Nedra Pezold Roberts.
To purchase your seat at the Appalachian Heritage Dinner, please contact Elizabeth Hickman by January 16 at 276.619.3315 or advancementassoc@bartertheatre.com
A portion of your ticket is tax deductible. Proceeds benefit Barter Theatre's Appalachian Festival of Plays & Playwrights.

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 867
Abingdon, VA 24212

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Give By Phone: 276-619-3315
or Check: Payable to Barter Theatre - Mailing address: PO Box 867, Abingdon, VA 24212
Your benefits package includes:
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Producer ($10,000+)
  • All previous tiers plus
  • Usher concierge service at performances
  • Invitations to company parties
  • Additional customized benefits available upon request
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Director ($5,000-$9,999)
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  • VIP Will-Call for tickets & intermission concessions
  • follow the creation of a production from start to finish
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  • VIP parking
  • invitation to a dress rehearsal
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Leading Role ($1,750-$2,499)
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  • invitations for two complimentary seats at each opening performance at Gilliam Stage at Barter Theatre and Stage II, including galas
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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
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Supporting Role ($500-$1,199)
  • All previous tiers plus
  • unlimited use of 15% discount for Barter’s Gift Shop & concessions (non-alcohol)
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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
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Player ($100-$249)
  • All previous tiers plus
  • Behind the scenes tour
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Curtain Raiser ($50-$99)
  • listing in the souvenir program
  • biannual donor e-newsletter
  • window decal
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Give By Phone: 276-619-3315
or Check: Payable to Barter Theatre - Mailing address: PO Box 867, Abingdon, VA 24212
Your benefits package includes:
producer iconography
Producer
  • All previous tiers plus
  • Usher concierge service at performances
  • Invitations to company parties
  • Additional customized benefits available upon request
director iconography
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 iconography
Stage Manager
  • All previous tiers plus
  • VIP parking
  • invitation to a dress rehearsal
leading role iconography
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 iconography
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 iconography
Supporting Role
  • All previous tiers plus
  • unlimited use of 15% discount for Barter’s Gift Shop & concessions (non-alcohol)
understudy iconography
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 iconography
Player
  • All previous tiers plus
  • Behind the scenes tour
curtain raiser iconography
Curtain Raiser
  • listing in the souvenir program
  • biannual donor e-newsletter
  • window decal