Barter Youth Academy is an innovative theatre education program that teaches students teamwork and creativity in a fun, fast-paced rehearsal environment! This Fall, Barter Youth Academy students will bring literary classics to the stage with our “Page to Stage” Season! Students will learn acting techniques and performance skills while working together on a minimally-produced play for their final demonstration. Whether your student loves dance, comedy, drama, music, or anything in between, BYA’s team of theatre professionals will create an exceptional educational experience tailored to their growth and learning.

For all the latest information, follow us Facebook.com/BarterYouthAcademy 

2020 BYA Spring Season: Fantasy & Favorites

Pre-Academy Classes (For ages 5-7, or grades K-1)

Falling Up! A Collection of Shel Silverstein Poems and Stories
This Spring, each Pre-Academy class will create a unique demonstration of stories and poems from the books of Shel Silverstein. Pre-Academy classes are perfect for young students because students learn how to use their imagination to create their very own story on stage in a fun, high-energy environment that requires lots of creativity but little memorization.

Elementary Classes (For ages 8-11, or 2nd – 5th Grade)

The Great Alphabet Adventure
Once upon a rainy afternoon, children left home alone with no electricity are certain they will die of boredom with no television or video games to pass the time. When an old book is discovered, a cast of wacky and colorful characters fill the child’s bedroom and take them on a journey that sparks a new found love of reading, adventure, and friendship! This Elementary class is designed to teach students the basics of theatre and all the fun and hard work that goes into putting on their very own play.

Middle/High Classes (For ages 12-18, or 6th – 12th grade)

Alice in Wonderland
This Spring, Middle/High students will venture down the rabbit hole into the beloved classic, Alice in Wonderland! Everyone’s favorite faces from Wonderland come to life in an adaptation written by Barter Theatre’s Playwright-in-Residence, Catherine Bush. Middle/High student will be sure to have a wonder-filled spring where they will work on developing quirky, classic characters and bringing this fantasy world to life on-stage for an audience.

Jr. Troupe (For ages 9-13, or 4th-8th grade)

Peter Pan
This Spring, Jr. Troupe students will fly, fly away on adventure to Neverland in an adaptation of Peter Pan with all the stories favorite classic characters! Jr. Troupe is an advanced class for students who have significant previous experience in theatre or BYA. The workshop covers more advanced acting topics than those in our regular BYA classes, and the Jr. Troupe class gets to perform at two Demos. Jr. Troupe is an audition-only program which will hold auditions early December. No late auditions are allowed. For more information on auditions, families can email us at byaeducation@bartertheatre.com

Troupe (For ages 13-18, or 8th-12th grade)

Our Town
BYA’s Troupe will be working on Our Town, an iconic story about small town life in America that is one of the most performed plays for high school students of all time! Troupe is an advanced class for students who have significant previous experience in theatre or BYA. The workshop covers more advanced acting topics than those in our regular BYA classes, and the Troupe class gets to perform at two Demos. Troupe is an audition-only program which will hold auditions early December. No late auditions are allowed. For more information on auditions, families can email us at byaeducation@bartertheatre.com

NEW Skill Series Classes (For ages 12-18, or 6-12th grade)

BYA is launching a new series of classes in 2020 where students focus on developing a specific skill that will aid in their growth in becoming a well-rounded theatre artist. These are fast-paced, advanced classes for students who are wanting to take their theatre training to the next level and explore what the world of theatre has to offer beyond the stage.

Comedy Improv

BYA is thrilled to announce the return of the ever-popular comedy improv taught by BYA Comedy Improv Creator, Michael Gerber! Comedy improv students will practice the fundamentals of improvisational theatre through different games and activities. Think on your feet, create wacky characters, and at the end of eight weeks, show off your skills in front of a loud, live audience!

Technical Theatre

Calling all teens who love to imagine, design, and create! BYA’s Technical Theatre class is a dream come true for all the aspiring visual artists out there! Technical Theatre students will work alongside BYA Technical Director, Madeleine Bullen, in a fast-paced 5 week class to design and create the set, props, costumes, sound, and lights for students in our Elementary, Middle/High, Troupe, and Jr. Troupe classes to use in their demos AND get the opportunity to speak to Technical Theatre Experts from the Barter Theatre who have turned their passion into profession! The students work will be demonstrated through the use of their creations on stage and assist our back-stage demo crew!

Audition Boot Camp

Designed for students who wish to learn the basics of audition success! Build confidence and learn the importance of letting your best self stand out in this fast-paced 5 week class! Each student will be coached through the process of choosing the best audition pieces while developing skills that will help them flourish in any real life audition and beyond. Students will demonstrate their growth in a mock audition demo for family and friends to watch!

All Abingdon Classes are located at Barter’s Trigg Street Location (former K-VA-T headquarters)
201 Trigg Street, Abingdon VA, 24210
Pull into building, drive around the back. Entrance is located in back of building where the large parking lot is located.

To Register in Abingdon, please select a class and time.

Abingdon (Pre-Academy 1) Starting February 11th
Every Tuesday: 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Abingdon (Pre-Academy 2) Starting February 12th
Every Wednesday: 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Abingdon (Elementary 1) Starting February 10th
Every Monday: 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Abingdon (Elementary 2) Starting February 13th
Every Thursday: 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Abingdon (Middle/High 1) Starting February 10th
Every Monday: 5:00pm – 7:30 pm

Abingdon (Middle/High 2) Starting February 13th
Every Thursday: 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Junior Troupe (For rising 4th-8th graders- or ages 8-13) Starting February 10th
Every Monday: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Peter Pan
This Spring, Jr. Troupe students will fly, fly away on adventure to Neverland in an adaptation of Peter Pan with all the stories favorite classic characters! Jr. Troupe is an advanced class for students who have significant previous experience in theatre or BYA. The workshop covers more advanced acting topics than those in our regular BYA classes, and the Jr. Troupe class gets to perform at two Demos. Jr. Troupe is an audition-only program which will hold auditions early December. No late auditions are allowed. For more information on auditions, families can email us at byaeducation@bartertheatre.com

Troupe (For rising 9th-12th graders- or ages 13-18) Starting February 8th
Every Saturday: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Our Town
BYA’s Troupe will be working on Our Town, an iconic story about small town life in America that is one of the most performed plays for high school students of all time! Troupe is an advanced class for students who have significant previous experience in theatre or BYA. The workshop covers more advanced acting topics than those in our regular BYA classes, and the Troupe class gets to perform at two Demos. Troupe is an audition-only program which will hold auditions early December. No late auditions are allowed. For more information on auditions, families can email us at byaeducation@bartertheatre.com

Comedy Improv (For ages 12-18) Starting February 10th
Every Tuesday; 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Technical Theatre (For ages 12-18) Starting January 15th
Every Wednesday; 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Auditions (For ages 12-18) Starting February 26th
Every Wednesday; 5:30pm – 8:00 pm

All Bristol Classes are located at The Paramount Center for the Arts
518 State Street, Bristol, TN 37620
The class entrance is at the back end of the Paramount, not the front entrance, which can be accessed through the Bank Street parking lot off of Shelby Street.

To Register in Bristol, please select the class and time below.

Bristol (Pre-Academy) Starting February 4th
Every Tuesday: 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Bristol (Elementary) Starting February 4th
Every Tuesday: 4:30pm –6:00pm

Bristol (Middle/High) Starting February 4th
Every Tuesday: 6:15pm – 8:45pm

All Johnson City classes are located at Northeast State Community College’s Downtown Johnson City Campus.
101 East Main Street, Johnson City, TN 37601
The class entrance can be found from the lobby of the building by entering from E. Market Street or access from the Parking Garage.

To Register in Johnson City,please select from the classes below.

Johnson City (Pre-Academy) Starting February 6th
Every Thursday: 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Johnson City (Elementary) Starting February 6th
Every Thursday: 4:30pm – 6:00pm

Johnson City (Middle/High) Starting February 6th
Every Thursday: 6:15pm – 8:45pm

All Kingsport classes are located at Kingsport Higher Ed Center
300 W Market St, Kingsport, TN 37660
The class entrance is at the front of the building where the lobby is located.

To Register in Kingsport, please select from the classes below.

Kingsport (Pre-Academy) Starting February 3rd
Every Monday: 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Kingsport (Elementary) Starting February 3rd
Every Monday: 4:30pm – 6:00pm

Kingsport (Middle/High) Starting February 3rd
Every Monday: 6:15pm – 8:45pm

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Barter Youth Academy?

The Barter Youth Academy is a performance-based educational program that allows students of all ages the chance to learn and develop their performance and storytelling skills. Using the acting and rehearsing techniques of the Barter Resident Acting Company, students work through the theatre experience from the audition to the final performance onstage in front of a live audience. BYA provides a safe, positive environment to enhance the abilities for the beginning performer, as well as shaping the talents of the advanced youth actor.

Why should I choose Barter Youth Academy? How is it different from other theatre opportunities?

Barter Youth Academy is an educational program through the Barter Theatre. There are many opportunities in our surrounding communities that allow your student to rehearse and perform; however, BYA is here to help your student grow by learning in an educational environment focused on each individual student, created by our staff of theatre professionals and educators. Additionally, BYA helps augment theatrical and educational opportunities your student might already have through their school or community, so the next time your student goes to an audition, they’ll be well-prepared to do their best and draw on the skills that they have developed in our workshops!
BYA also helps build confidence, self-esteem, and develops a true team mindset. Unfortunately, due to curriculum restructuring, a lot of schools aren’t able to the focus on the performing arts and the many gifts it can deliver. BYA fills the gap, and gives your student a more well-rounded education and experience. Our teachers strive to give each student the attention they deserve, and address their individual wants or needs. Does your student want to feel more comfortable speaking in front of a large crowd? Do they want to learn to think more openly and creatively? Do they want to make more friends outside of school? Time and time again, we have heard parents tell us these are exactly the kind of skills BYA fosters and supports.

Contact Us

Nikki Skillman
276-619-3344
byaeducation@bartertheatre.com

How long are the classes?

Our Fall and Spring workshop sessions are 8 weeks long (with an extra week added in Spring to accommodate snow days), and meet once a week after school. Each class will meet for an hour or more (depending on the age group). Summer workshops meet for six weeks, with two classes per week. (Elementary usually meets for 2 hours twice a week during the summer. Middle/High School meets for 3 hours twice a week during the summer.)

What is your absence policy?

To make sure that everyone gets the full benefit of these classes, attendance is crucial to student success. While we understand that prior commitments and emergencies come up, we limit absences to 2 during spring and fall classes, and 4 during summer classes. If this limit is exceeded, then a discussion between the instructor and parent will be held to determine whether it would be beneficial for the student to remain in class.

Where are the classes held?

In Abingdon, VA: The Barter Production and Education Building on Trigg Street.
In Bristol, TN: The Paramount Center for the Arts on State Street.
In Johnson City, TN: Northeast State Community College’s Downtown Johnson City Campus on E. Market Street
In Kingsport, TN: The Kingsport Higher Education Center on W Market Street.

How much do classes cost?

Tuition prices vary by age group and season. Please select your appropriate class on our registration page to see current tuition information.

Why do I have to pay a deposit?

Because of the growing popularity of our classes, we want to make sure that your student is guaranteed a spot once they register. This deposit locks in their spot in class and you can pay the remaining tuition later.

Are there scholarships available?

Absolutely! BYA will never turn a student away due to their financial situation. To apply for a scholarship, select your class and pay the initial deposit, then contact our Director, Nikki Skillman, at byaeducation@bartertheatre.com

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