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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Barter Foundation Incorporated State Theatre of Virginia

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Theater

Mission: Barter Theatre is a resident company of passionate professional artists and leaders dedicated to serving and enriching our region by creating live theatre in repertory, by providing audiences, both youth and adult, with an extraordinary and enlightening experience each and every time they engage with us, by celebrating and embracing our Appalachian roots, by being stewards of the legacy of Barter Theatre, by using theatre as a vehicle for education, and by creating a nurturing environment for everyone.

Results: Barter Theatre mounts over 900 performances, programs, and workshops annually with an annual attendance at its two stages of over 163,000. In addition, Barter reaches over 75,000 children and youth a year through its unduplicated education programs.

Programs: Barter theatre creates live theatrical performances utilizing a professional resident acting company and performing in repertory in two theatres in abingdon, virginia. Barter also tours certain productions nationally. In 2014, barter produced 9 professional productions at barter theatre, 11 professional productions and 7 staged readings at barter stage ii, and 7 theatre-for-young audiences by the barter players at stage ii and barter theatre. In addition, the barter players toured 3 productions to 7 states for 136 performances and 11 workshops to approximately 40,000 students. Barter educational workshops reached over 6,200 children and over 35,000 children attended barter's student matinee performances in abingdon or on tour.

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Angie19

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I grew up in the Kingsport area and have attended many plays at Barter Theatre. Every show I have seen at Barter has been excellent. Most recently, I have seen three plays for the 2012-2013 season. "October, Before I Was Born" was outstanding. The cast and crew did an awesome job! "Tarzan" was amazing. The set design was wonderful and the actors were great! "Zombie Prom" was such fun! It was being performed on Stage 2. The show was very entertaining and again, the cast was excellent. I hope in the future, I get many more opportunities to show my support for Barter Theatre. If you are ever in the Abingdon area, you really need to visit Barter!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are privileged to have Barter Theater in our area. The acting is superior and ranks right up there with Broadway. I have never been disappointed with any play we have seen. The price of tickets is affordable with many great options to save even more. Barter theater is part of our lives. We love it!

Hannah I.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

There's no theatre in the country quite like Barter Theatre. It has a rich history (75+ years in operation, founded by Robert Porterfield during the Great Depression) and a full, supportive sense of family for its employees and the surrounding community-at-large. Barter beautifully balances its community involvement with a boundary-breaking focus on growth, which is a cornerstone of great theatre. One of their mottos is "Art = Growth" and it continues to promote growth for each and every person who experiences Barter. Artistic growth, educational growth, expanding horizons, community growth... Barter has touched people beyond count. Thank you, Barter!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In the middle of a quaint, quiet town, you will find a true american treasure! Barter Theatre has launched many a successful acting career and continues to put on impressive stage productions with the most talented performers.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Barter's shows are never disappointing. The theatrics are breathtaking, witty, and entertaining.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Barter Theatre's founder, Robert Porterfield, famously said, "If you like us, talk about us...." and I'm glad to have the opportunity to do so here. As a lifelong resident of Southwest Virginia, my first exposure to Barter was when the Barter Players came to my school each year for a performance. I have been attending their shows every year that I can remember, and have many great memories of those experiences. Barter is not only a great place to enjoy a show, it is a true steward of arts and culture for Southwest Virginia, the Appalachian Region, and the state of Virginia.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Barter Theatre is not just the state theatre of Virginia, but is so much more. It serves southwest Virginia by offering outstanding plays and outreach to the community. The Barter Theatre introduces live theatre and the arts to students and residents of southwest Virginia--many for the first time. It serves as an nationally honored theatre in the picturesque downtown of Abingdon, Virginia in the heart of the Appalachian region. The Barter Theatre offers something for everyone. Before each performance they remind the audience: "If you like us, talk about us. If you don't, keep your mouth shut." I don't know of anyone who has experienced Barter Theatre who wants to "keep their mouths shut." The Barter Theatre offers something to everyone while remaining true to its historic roots and commitment to the community.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Barter Theatre is a true gem to Southwest Virginia and the rest of the Commonwealth. It is must visit for anyone coming to the area. Heck, it should be a reason make a trip to the area. No one should pass up an opportunity to attend a play at Barter. It is also a foundation to the arts community. They partner with local schools and colleges to provide education and training opportunities for the aspiring.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Barter Theatre is a unique gem of Southwest Virginia. Nestled right in the heart of historic downtown Abingdon, it is a perfect example of the magic that can happen when you combine incredible talent and heartfelt passion. The actors play out the stories with such believability that it is easy to lose track of your watch and your mind as it wanders into whatever world is being created right before your eyes. Before each show, the visitors from the farthest distance away are recognized. As a local, I can't help but swell with pride knowing that visitors from all over the world are going to have an evening to remember in Southwest VA thanks to the Barter Theatre.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Barter Theatre is a tremendous asset to our community! The plays are always top notch and provide a huge helping of culture to the Southwest Virginia region. It is such a treat to plan a trip to the theatre!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Barter is a community of talented individuals who work together to make theatre. Theatre that moves people, makes them laughs, drives them to tears, and has them leaving with smiles on the their faces. I have attended numerous shows over the past 4 years and it always strikes me how much of a family the cast and crew is and how well they take care of their patrons. The Barter partners with Emory & Henry College as a way to educate the Theatre majors as to what the "real world" of Theatre is like. They provide workshops, talkbacks, and an Apprenticeship program. All of these things help the students in their future careers and is a way the Barter gives back to the community!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a member of the business commmunity here in Abingdon and as a former employee of Barter Theatre, I am grateful for the tremendous work Barter does here. I grew up with Barter as a part of my life and have been involved with the theatre as a volunteer, in a couple of different employment positions and now as a community partner and advertiser. The hardwork and dedication of the staff is tremendous. The new works and the level of art that the theatre has brought to this small community is valued. We are blessed to have a theatre the level of Barter in our hometown. Over the last few years, Barter has answered the call to be more active in the community and now has dedicated personnel for outreach and education which are two areas that needed more attention. I am proud to be affiliated with Barter.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Barter Theatre is made of people. People who care and help and benefit from one another. I was honored to be a part of the Barter as a Customer Service Manager in the early 1990's and as a member of the production staff from 2005-2010. You won't find a better group of folks working toward the same goal.

Review from Guidestar

Catherine B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Without Barter Theatre, I would have no playwriting career. It's that simple. Barter produced my play "The Other Side of the Mountain" back in 2003 and I've been in love with them ever since. Barter's tremendous pool of actors and directors have collaborated with me and have taught me so much about my craft. I am eternally indebted to this organization for giving me a chance to learn and grow and to be part of the Barter family. I am eternally indebted to them for teaching me how to serve the audience. I get to write for both adults and children. I am one lucky playwright. BARTER THEATRE ROCKS!

Review from Guidestar

Matthew T.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work at Barter Theatre on and off during the years. They are very considerate with rehearsals, nice to all employees (actors and staff), and also very responsive to new ideas and thoughts. I have been on both sides of the Barter stage, and on plays I saw, I thought they were very well produced. The only way to really describe it is to go see them. They are amazing.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've enjoyed the Barter Theatre since I was a kid. I've been to Barter more times than I can count and everytime I get lost in the story. I love that some famous people have gotten their start from the Barter. It lets me know that even from a small town you can still reach your dreams.

Review from Guidestar

Wendy H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Barter Thearter is wonderful I get season passes every year. I always enjoy going to see the wide range of production each year. the actor always amazing. The box office staff are so helpful when I need tickets changed from one day to another never seem botherd.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Barter Theatre does amazing work, from new play production to children's plays almost every day of the week. The staff is hard-working and professional and the actors are top-notch. The amount of work the adminstrative, production and artistic staffs do is mind-boggling. The plays are Broadway-caliber with a home town feel.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have seen many plays at the Barter Theatre and I've NEVER been disappointed! Always top-notch! Truly a treasure!

Sarah P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the Barter Theatre. The choice of shows are always perfect and the actors always deliver an amazing performance! Definitely a must if making a trip to Abingdon, VA.

Review from Guidestar