The Barter Players are a group of professional artists who perform world-class theatre for young people. We believe in theatre that awakens the imaginations of the most exciting, most participatory audience in the world: kids. Barter Player performances focus on what brings out bravery in all of us, and our shows never talk down to the audience. Because of our fierce theatricality, no-holds-barred acting, and faithfulness to the best stories ever written, we have a following among both children and adults alike. (it’s not unusual to have an adult ‘admit’ to us that they come even without a kid.) The child in all of us deserves wild adventure, incredible story, and the excitement of live theatre so close you can reach out and touch it.

During a traditional year, The Barter Players perform at Barter Theatre in Abingdon April through December. Then, during January, February, and March, The Players go on tour, performing at schools all over the Eastern seaboard. 

The Players meet the audience before the shows, and often after the shows as well, and we love building friendships with the people who come. Bring a young person you love to the theatre or catch us on tour- we’ll surprise you!

During 2021, check out The Barter Players shows On Demand, and at Barter at the Moonlite!

Contact The Players!

Interested in Field Trips? Call (276) 619-5406 or email groups@bartertheare.com

Interested in Players on Tour? Call (276) 619-3347 or email playertours@bartertheatre.com

Barter Players Lead Photo

“Before the show you came out and talked to me as a person and then you went up on stage and did that?!?! I am inspired and ready to go"


“The world around me disappeared. All I could do was watch the play, like when you're watching a really good movie.”


“That was so amazing! I couldn’t even blink once! I really could not blink!”


“This will stay with me forever.”


"Though our kids have very little, we try to encourage and inspire them with hope for the future. As a former arts teacher, I know and firmly believe in the power of the arts in providing them with this hope. Thank you for not only exposing them to a wonderful live theatrical experience but also perhaps providing hope by stretching their imagination and inspiring some future actors or actresses.”

Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School

Sensory Friendly Performances

The Barter Players want to make theatre in Southwest Virginia more accessible to all audience members. A Sensory Friendly Performance is a performance where slight adjustments are made, including the reduction of any jarring sounds or strobe lights, and house lights that remain on, but at a low level. These performances are “Shush-Free”, which means that you are welcome to talk, make sound, and walk around as you need to enjoy the show. We work closely with professional consultants, including the TDF National Autism Friendly Performance Training Program, to make these shows accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

“Thank you for creating such a wonderful inclusive night for these kids! Sometimes they don’t get to enjoy things that some ‘typical’ kids would and last night was an incredible experience for them! I am very appreciative to have had this memory with my family and will definitely never forget it.”

 “This was a great experience. Barter really did their homework in creating a great sensory experience. This event sparked an interest in theatre not only for our kids, but for the entire family!” 

Sensory Friendly FAQ
Barter Players On Tour

Interested in bringing the Barter Players Tour to your school or venue? Email playertours@bartertheatre.com or call (276) 619-3347!

Each year, January — March, The Barter Players tour the East Coast with high energy and original productions that capture the imagination, intelligence and sophistication of today’s youth while providing the best in classic literature and beloved story adaptation.

Spring 2022 Tour

My Imaginary Pirate

By Catherine Bush

Study Guide Coming Soon

Jesse McCall is having trouble making friends at his new school, but in spite of that, Jesse isn’t lonely–he’s too busy going on adventures with his imaginary pirate, the Terrible One-Eyed Jack. Jesse and One-Eyed Jack are determined to find the buried treasure, but they discover trouble along the way when the outlaw pirate, Red Legs Ricky, steals their treasure map! A high-seas adventure ensues, and Jesse soon realizes that friendship is the greatest treasure of all.

Anne of Green Gables

Adapted from L.M. Montgomery
By Catherine Bush

Study Guide Coming Soon

Marilla Cuthbert and her brother Matthew are determined to adopt an orphan boy to help them run Green Gables, their farm on beautiful Prince Edward Island. But their well-ordered lives take a surprising and hilarious twist when the boy they hoped for turns out to be a redheaded girl named Anne Shirley, whose wild imagination leads her into countless scrapes, as well as a place in our hearts forever. Join Anne and her friends in this timeless coming-of-age favorite!

“Barter Players is, hands down, the most requested group of performers here at Pro-Art…. They deliver outstanding quality programs every time. Teachers, principals, school administrators, students and Pro-Art patrons all want Barter Player shows”.

ProArt Association

"The imaginative way that The Player shows are performed on tour helps our students develop their own creativity in ways that help them not only academically, but in other areas of life as well."

Harding Ave Elementary School

“There is no other presentation we have ever hosted that so completely captures the attention of our students. The Barter Players are skilled at their craft, and they make an effort to be approachable to the children before and after the performance."

Mount Pleasant Elementary School

The Barter Players Apprenticeship Program

Barter Players are some of the finest young actors from across the country who come to Barter Theatre to further their training. We audition over a thousand actors each year for 6 year round positions, and we seek young artists who are committed to growth, who have strong enough skills to step into major roles, and who believe in theatre as a service to others.

The Players are the acting apprentices at the theatre. They perform in at least 10 plays during their contract, but usually closer to 12 or 14. Barter Players perform for young audiences in their own shows, and also perform in Barter’s AEA shows in roles small and large. We use the same depth of acting tools on Hamlet and Charlotte’s Web. Because we believe in all theatre artists having an understanding and respect for all parts of theatre, all Barter Players will work backstage of at least one show during their time here, but the bulk of a Players’ experience here is in rehearsal and performances.
Rehearsals have a master class feel, as we are constantly working together on each person’s strengths and weaknesses. If you enjoy learning with an ensemble of artists who care about theatre as much as you do, if you are excited to see how far you can push yourself as a theatre artist, if you work best when you are juggling lots of projects, if you don’t mind sweeping a stage before you act on it, if you believe that theatre can change a child’s life for the better, and if you want to see how much you can learn, you might be a Barter Player.
We audition at Barter in early December each year and attend UPTA’s in Memphis in February. For more information on the program, contact Barrett Guyton at barterplayers@bartertheatre.com
So you think you want to be a Player?
Barter Theatre Logo

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

Thank you to The Barter Players Season Media Sponsors!

Blue Ridge PBS
Tri-Cities CW