A! Magazine for the Arts

Barter Theatre announces biggest season ever for 2015 plus a new venue

November 2, 2014

ABINGDON, VA - Barters Theatre unveils its show schedule for the 2015 season, creating the biggest season in the history of the theatre. With readings, songs and performances from Barter's resident actors, Producing Artistic Director Richard Rose announced this season. There will be more than 26 shows, not including The Barter Players shows.

"We are inspired about the 2015 season. This season is guaranteed to have something to offer everyone," says Rose. "You'll laugh out loud, be touched, be frightened, sing along, and ultimately be wildly entertained. It is one of our best line-ups ever."

To accommodate this season, Barter unveiled an additional theatrical venue by featuring five shows in The Tent on the Barter Square. With the iconic Barter Main Stage, Barter's intimate 167-seat theatre at Barter Stage II, The Tent helps broaden the reach of the theatre experience by offering audiences a wider array of shows and themes.

Barter Theatre opens the 2015 season beginning in February featuring:

A musical comedy by Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse, Music & Lyrics by Cole Porter
Barter Main Stage
Cole Porter's first-class musical comedy is the story of two unlikely pairs who set off on the course to true love, proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from some unlikely characters. Featuring some of the greatest music written for the stage including "I Get A Kick Out Of You," "You're The Top" and the title song, "Anything Goes."

by William Gibson
Barter Main Stage
Profoundly moving, it's the true story of the Annie Sullivan – the "Giver of Light"- and her blind and mute student, Helen Keller. Only Annie realizes that a mind and spirit are waiting to be rescued from her dark, tortured silence. Annie's success with Helen finally comes with the utterance of a single, glorious word: "Water."

Past and present must decide what price they are willing to pay
by Catherine Bush
Barter Stage II
It's 150 years ago and General Robert Lee is fleeing Richmond, hoping to rearm the Army of Northern Virginia and mount a campaign to retake Richmond. It's also 2015 and Steve "Beau" Weeks decides to retrace the steps of Lee's army in hopes of finding his roots through his family's history. But will this confrontation with history bring renewal or will it end his marriage to Jenny?

Winner of Barter's 2014 Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights
A world premiere, by Isaac Rathbone
Barter Stage II
A story of family, wishes, greed, magic, snow and department stores: Barry works at All-Mart and lives with this brother, the cop, and secretly desires his brother's wife, Yvonne. Needless to say, things are not going well for Barry; when suddenly, appearing from the melting snow of winter is a Gnome, whose magical powers transform everyone's life, but not without consequences.

A tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat
A world premiere by David L. Williams
Barter Stage II
From Barter's Shaping of America Series comes the critics' selection of Barter's 2013 Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights. It's the not-so-distant future and massive food shortages have led to the unthinkable: the young have risen up against the old, and society has split along generational lines. Two representatives have been chosen to negotiate, and the fate of humanity is in their hands.


A comedy by William Van Zandt & Jane Milmore
Barter Stage II
Twists of fate, mistaken identities and a whole host of hilarious wit fill the story of Jon Trachtman and Leslie Arthur, two out-of-work musicians sharing an apartment. To save money, Jon has been filing tax returns listing the pair as married. The day of reckoning arrives when the I.R.S. informs them that they are being investigated.

Followed by the summer performances featuring
Based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film
Original Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, Book by Julian Fellowes
Barter Main Stage
It's Barter's big summer musical.

A comedy of southern proportions by Osborne and Eppler
Barter Main Stage
The only thing funnier than a Southern funeral is a Southern wedding. The charmingly funny Freye family is back and this time they are going to get married. Or maybe not? The engagement of Attie VanLeer and Harline Frye has been on again, off again more times than a drunken frat boy on a mechanical bull. Now half the town has been invited, the dress has been fitted, the flowers have been ordered and the gifts are piling up in the living room. Will they or won't they? You'll have to find out in this hit comedy from the authors of "Southern Friend Funeral."

by Stephen Massicotte
Barter Stage II
It's the evening of Mary's wedding, a night filled with dreams: dreams of love, dreams of war and dreams of what might be. When Mary and Charlie, filled with the passion, vulnerability and impulsiveness of youth, unexpectedly find one another sheltering in a barn during a thunderstorm, a tentative love is born.

by Theresa Rebeck
Barter Stage II
A story with a dazzling and humanistic look at people trying to do what they love in the face of obstacles that mount until all anyone can do is dance. A play about the trials of living and a comic journey which becomes a lesson in profound, stark truths. "A touch of magic." – Baltimore Sun, "In a word...terrific." – Post-Examiner, "A guilty pleasure, mind-bending comedy." – DC Theatre Scene


> Written and created by Roger Bean
Barter Stage II
With classic pop music from the '50s and '60s, this smash hit musical takes you to the 1958 Springfield High School prom where we meet The Wonderettes, four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts! We experience their lives and loves, while treated to the performance of such classic songs as "Lollipop," "Dream Lover," "Stupid Cupid," "Lipstick on Your Collar," "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me," "It's My Party" and more than 20 other classic hits. "The fun never stops!" –Associated Press

The fall offers:

A world premiere adaptation by Catherine Bush from the novel by Alexandre Dumas
Barter Main Stage
A story of double crossing, kidnappings and carefully guarded secrets with lavish sword fights and sweeping romance, set in a time when honor and love ruled the world.

CURTAINS! A MURDER MYSTERY MUSICAL COMEDY! Book by Rupert Holmes, Original book and concept by Peter Stone,
Music by John Kander, Lyrics by Fred Ebb, Additional lyrics by John Kander and Rupert Holmes
Barter Main Stage
It's the opening night of a new musical that could be on its way to being the next Broadway smash, when its talentless leading lady dies on opening night during her curtain call. The entire cast and crew are suspects. Enter Lt. Frank Cioffi, who has a secret affinity for musical theatre, to investigate. Will the lure of the theatre and his desire to save this failing musical, along with an unexpected blooming romance, keep him from discovering the murderer? Can he salvage the show, catch the killer and get the girl without getting killed himself? "Curtains" will have you on the edge of your seat - laughing – and rooting for Lt. Cioffi to succeed.

A comedy thriller by Peter Colley
Barter Stage II
Jan has recently had a nervous breakdown. Her husband Greg has rented an old farmhouse in the country where she can recover. Is the farmhouse haunted? Is she having another breakdown? Is someone trying to drive her mad? When she tries to defend herself from this apparition, events take unexpected twists and turns in a night of unimaginable suspense. "Scream, laugh, scream again and hang on to your seats!" – Kansas City Star

The Critics' Choice of Barter's 2014 Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights
A world premiere Appalachian play by David Brian Colbert
Barter Stage II
There are lies we tell ourselves, and lies we tell others-just to make it through the day. In walks one such convincing and compelling liar: Coal. Four people – all Coal – spin this moving Southern yarn of a hard-knock childhood in a sleepy mining town. Together, they tell the daring tale that they have never been able to share before, and their wild story becomes homage to the delicate art of lying.

by Bruce Arnston
Barter Stage II
Side-splitting & rollicking – the perfect blend of comedy & country music
Country music's hardest working duo is back. Doyle Mayfield, a once beloved country star has found his newest star (who he met last month at the VFW), Debbie #3. This country music spoof has audiences raving from Nashville to Chicago to the Conan O'Brien show. The Chicago Tribune calls it, "Brilliant! Drop-dead funny!"

Barter's holiday performances:
Music by Doug Smith, Book and Lyrics by Vern Stefanic
A family holiday tradition
Barter Main Stage
A favorite holiday tale by Valentine Davies, made famous by the movie of the same name.

A ghostly Christmas story by Tom Mula
Barter Stage II
"Marley was dead to begin with. That must be clearly understood or nothing wonderful can come of this story." Finally we get to hear the tale of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" told from Marley's perspective. Desperate and locked in a torment of his own creation, Marley gets one chance for redemption. He must redeem his former partner, Ebenezer Scrooge. Thus begins a journey of laughter and terror, redemption and renewal, during which Marley's heart is certainly opened, in this irreverent, funny and deeply moving story.

Introducing shows at The Tent on Barter Square:

Featuring Robin & Linda Williams from "A Prairie Home Companion"
Created and Conceived by Don Baker, Book by Don Baker
Music and Lyrics by Linda and Robin Williams
Additional Lyrics by Don Baker, Margaret Junkin Preston, and Jerome Clark
STONEWALL COUNTRY is an irreverent story chronicling the life of Stonewall Jackson, who at once was a bold strategist filled with biblical zeal and at the same time an ordinary man with human flaws and idiosyncrasies. The story is told through the glorious and unique music written and performed by bluegrass, folk and old-time country music artists Robin and Linda Williams.

The Songs & Story of the Original Carter Family

by Douglas Pote
Barter's Most Requested Show Of All Time
The love story that made country music famous – A. P., Maybelle and Sara Carter are brought to life in this telling look at the lives and music of the Carter Family and the historic Bristol Sessions recordings.

From Barter's Shaping of America Series
A world premiere play by Sean O'Leary
Allard Charles, age 102, has long played the role of a minor celebrity due to the fact that he spent the first 15 years of his life confined by his mother in a box. Now that he hasn't long to live, Allard has decided that he must use this speaking engagement to reveal the darkest secret of his life in the box. A secret he has never shared before. A secret that may impact us all.

Book and Lyrics by Julia Jordan
Music and Lyrics by Juliana Nash
A steamy exploration of the complications of love, the compromises we make and the betrayals that undo us. The dramatic story of a love triangle gone wrong centering on Sara, who is torn between her dangerous ex-boyfriend and her reliable husband. This story is filled with vibrant pop-rock tunes and a sexy, explosive, new rock musical score.

A Holiday Special Event
The Tent at Barter Square
Recommended for mature audiences due to language and subject matter
The outrageous holiday comedy, written by NPR comic genius David Sedaris, stars Crumpet, a rebel without a Clause who recounts the true-life tale of an out-of-work writer's stint as a Macy's department store elf. Rapidly becoming one of the nation's most popular holiday shows, Barter's production will feature one of Barter's favorite actors, Nicholas Piper, as Crumpet.

Beginning with the season announcement, 2015 Season PassBooks are now on sale at a reduced rate through the end of the year. Season PassBooks offer savings up to 52% off single ticket prices, and are available in four varied packages. Season PassBooks range in price from $99 to $249. For more information about purchasing your Season PassBook, visit bartertheatre.com or contact the box office, 276-628-3991. Single tickets go on sale Jan. 2.