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Exit Laughing

For this group of genteel southern ladies, the biggest highlight in their lives for the past 30 years has been their weekly bridge night out with the “girls.” What do you do when one of your foursome, whose caustic wit and love of life makes her the bond that holds the four musketeers together, inconveniently dies? If you’re Connie, Leona and Millie, three southern ladies from Birmingham, you do the most daring thing you’ve ever done. You “borrow” the ashes from the funeral home for one last card game; the wildest, most exciting night of your lives erupts involving a police raid, a cheeky male stripper and a whole new way of looking at all the fun you can have when you’re truly living. “...uproarious comedy...peels of laughter and tears of joy....” You will certainly exit laughing!

SHOW DETAILS

“The Golden Girls” meets “Steel Magnolias”

A comedy by Paul Elliott

For this group of genteel southern ladies, the biggest highlight in their lives for the past 30 years has been their weekly bridge night out with the “girls.” What do you do when one of your foursome, whose caustic wit and love of life makes her the bond that holds the four musketeers together, inconveniently dies? If you’re Connie, Leona and Millie, three southern ladies from Birmingham, you do the most daring thing you’ve ever done. You “borrow” the ashes from the funeral home for one last card game; the wildest, most exciting night of your lives erupts involving a police raid, a cheeky male stripper and a whole new way of looking at all the fun you can have when you’re truly living. “...uproarious comedy...peels of laughter and tears of joy....” You will certainly exit laughing!

The performance of Exit Laughing on June 13, 2019 at 7:30pm will be a part of Barter Days, and we will be partnering with Feeding America Southwest Virginia starting at 5:00pm.

Please Note: An Open-Caption Performance of this production will be available on Thursday, July 18 at 2:00pm and Saturday, July 20 at 8:00pm.

Director's Notes

ARRIVE LAUGHING

This thing called “life” is pretty great, right? With all its complications, goodness, mistakes, and beauty, it’s a ride we are all on. I know it’s trite, and self-help gurus tell us this all the time, but I’ve found that going through life with other people makes it even better. And I’m not only talking about the good times with each other, but also the times we’re faced with those trials that seem insurmountable.

But what do you do when one of those people you go through life with, one of your closest and strongest friends, dies? How do you move on without them? Especially when they’re the person who seemed to make sense of things—or at least could crack a joke and make things easier?

That’s where we find Connie, Leona, and Millie. It’s the evening before their best friend Mary’s funeral, but they gather for their weekly bridge night anyway, if only for each other. What can they do to best honor Mary’s memory?

Then Mary shows up. Not in the way you think, but she’s there in the house with them. And it leads these three women on the most adventurous night of their lives. Which turns out to be just what Mary wanted: for her best friends to have a wild night, full of adventure, stories, making memories, and most importantly, laughter. Together. Because Mary knows that’s how her friends will go on living life: not alone, but with each other.

And that’s the triumph of life, isn’t it? To do more than just exist, but to live fully, every moment, with each other. To stop playing at life and start living it. Because, in the words of Dean Karnazes, “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow!! What a ride!”

I’ll add one thing to Dean’s sentiment: make sure you arrive laughing.

Barrett Guyton, Director

REVIEWS & TESTIMONIALS

It was really fun getting to know the team during the project. They were all helpful in answering my questions and made me feel at ease. The design ended up being better than I could have envisioned!

Eve CrawfordProduct Designer

By far the best team I've ever worked with. They truly understood the look I was going for and completely nailed it! I would highly recommend them as a company, you simply just won't find any better team!

Aura BrooksGraphic Designer

Salient is by far the most astonishing WP theme out there! I literally could not be happier that I chose to buy your theme! Your regular updates and superb attention to detail blows me away every time I visit my new site!

Zak ReidInstructor, Skate Nao

I'm wondering why I never contacted these guys sooner! Seriously, they all have commendable talent in their respective fields and knocked my concept out of the ballpark. Thanks for an amazing experience!

Jack GrahamCo Founder, Coffee Inc

SPONSORS

SHOW GALLERY

Zoë Velling
Rachel

Tricia Matthews
Connie

Paris Bradstreet
Leona

Mary Lucy Bivins
Mille

Garrett T. Houston
Bobby

Barrett Guyton
Director

Derek Smith
Set Designer

Lee Alexander Martin
Costume Designer

Whitney Kaibel
Wig & Makeup Designer

Andrew Morehouse
Lighting Designer

Tony Angelini
Sound Designer

Cindi A. Raebel
Stage Manager

Victoria L. Sutton
Rehearsal Assistant Stage Manager

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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