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Looking for a career in theatre?

Here’s what Barter has to offer…

Accessible Employee Housing

The Barter Inn has housed our employees for decades -- for little to no cost to our artists and staff! We can accommodate both short term and long term stays, and offer an array free amenities on site. The Inn is also conveniently located on the same lot as our scene and prop shops, so if you work in Production, you can't beat that commute!

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Broadway Quality Equity Productions

We pride ourselves on being the longest running equity theatre in the country, as well as the State Theatre of Virginia since 1946. As we approach our 90th season, we can honestly say that our production standards continue to raise every year. We strive to make accessible world class theatre for all, and if you believe in that mission then you've got a home here with us!

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Career Growth & Mobility

At Barter, we always want you to feel free to follow your passions and your talents. Many of our employees enjoy the ability to wear different hats for different productions, showcasing their skills and their talents in a variety of ways throughout their employment with us. Our company atmosphere is one of healthy communication and growth, and we place a lot of value on fostering a sense of community in the workplace.

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What is Barter Theatre?

In 1933 we opened our doors, proclaiming: “With vegetables you cannot sell, you can buy a good laugh.”

The price of admission was 40 cents or an equivalent amount of produce. Four out of five theatregoers, many of whom could not have otherwise been able to see live theatre, paid their way with vegetables, dairy products, and livestock. The concept of trading “ham for Hamlet” caught on quickly and to the surprise of many, all the seats for our first show were filled.

From then on, it was clear that there is an undeniable appetite (no pun intended) for Broadway quality theatre in Southwest Virginia. Every year on our theatre’s birthday, we honor our roots by allowing patrons to “barter” for admission at our annual Barter Day event. All proceeds for Barter Day, both cash and food donations, go to Feeding Southwest Virginia.

As we move into the future, we strive to continue on in the tradition of making world class theatre accessible to all those who are hungry for the arts, both in our region and beyond. Through programs such as our Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights and Black Stories Black Voices, we also make conscious efforts to amplify the most diverse and historically silenced voices of our region.

Career Opportunities & Company Culture

At Barter, we strive to foster a community based culture based on mutual respect and open communication. No matter which department you may wish to work in, from the largest to the most isolated, you will have no issue finding a helping hand with anything you may need as you start your journey with us.

We offer an array of jobs in many different departments: Administration, Advancement, Finances, Marketing, Front of House, Outreach, Production, and The Barter Players.

To see what open positions we have currently, visit our Opportunities page.

Click here for a video of one of our first floor suites.

*NOTE: Most rooms at the Inn do not have a kitchenette, and cooking typically requires the use of one of our communal kitchens. Furniture arrangements may vary room to room.

The Barter Inn

The Barter Inn has housed our employees for decades — for little to no cost to our artists and staff! We can accommodate both short term and long term stays, and offer an array free amenities on site. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Free internet access.
  • Free parking on site with assigned parking spots.
  • Free company gym in the basement of the inn.
  • Low cost laundry facilities on site.
  • Located on the same lot as our scene and prop shops.
  • Ramp accessible rooms on the first floor.
  • Communal kitchen and living spaces.
  • A combination of suite and single style living options.
  • The opportunity to bond with your fellow Barter employees at Barter Inn events.

Gilliam Stage

Barter’s first production was in 1933 and the building that is home to Barter’s Gilliam Stage has a grand and rich history dating back to 1831. The Historic Gilliam Stage is a proscenium style that accommodates up to 506 patrons. This stage has is a traditional proscenium style theatre, with seating downstairs in the orchestra or upstairs in the balcony. Big musicals and more traditional works are typically produced in this space.

Barter’s Smith Theatre

Barter’s Smith Theatre across Main Street from the Gilliam Stage and brings the action up. In this space a smaller, more intimate stage is ground level, while three-quarter stadium-style seating allows for a unique experience. Newer works and edgier plays are typically produced here, as well as most of The Barter Players’ productions.

Smith Theatre features 167 seats around a thrust stage. In some seats, patrons are only a few feet away from the performers. On May 24, 2019, Barter’s Smith Theatre was named in honor of Steve and Debbie Smith and the Smith family for their loyalty to Barter and the region. Barter’s Smith Theatre is favored by actors and audiences for its intimate setting which makes it perfect for innovative new productions, thrillers, and comedies.

Production Gallery


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