Barter Theatre is committed to fostering the development of new theatrical works that tell the story of our region. Our New Play Development Program includes festivals for both students and professionals. The Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights (our flagship play development program) produces works that go on to be published and produced on Barter stages and beyond.
Professional Play Development
Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights
Six playwrights from Appalachia, or those telling Appalachian stories, are invited to participate in Barter Theatre’s Annual AFPP festival. Over the course of two weeks in January new plays are rehearsed and staged for public readings. Festival plays may move on to be developed into full productions at Barter Theatre.
High School Playwrights
Young Playwrights Festival
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.
Representing Stories of Black Appalachians
Black Stories Black Voices
In an effort to amplify the voices of the most diverse stories of our region, Barter is committed to presenting work by Black Appalachian playwrights at each annual Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights. We intend this to be a first step in ensuring that ALL Appalachians will be represented on our stages.
Professional Experience for Students
College Playwrights Festival
Barter’s College Play Festival (CPF) is a 10 Minute Play Festival designed to give undergraduate college students a professional experience. Selected student playwrights will have the opportunity to develop their play with professional Barter artists as well as attend workshops and meet professional playwrights.