A! Magazine for the Arts

"Nothing I do is really ever conservative." - Richard Rose, Producing Artistic Director of Barter Theatre.

"Nothing I do is really ever conservative." — Richard Rose, Producing Artistic Director of Barter Theatre.

Barter's 'Don't Miss A Moment' Season 'Geared With A New Vision for Future'

February 26, 2008

To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Barter Theatre is "pulling out all the stops." Before the season officially got underway, Richard Rose, Producing Artistic Director of Barter Theatre, took time to answer questions for A! Magazine for the Arts.

What special events are being planned for Barter's 75th season?

  • The publication of a 75th Anniversary coffee table book, Will Work For Food
  • Some very special folks will be honored with their names engraved into the Walk of Fame in front of Barter Theatre; this will be done at the opening of Saint Joan on Sunday, March 2
  • A Media and Legislative Appreciation Night at the Martha Washington Inn on April 26
  • More events are planned for The Barter Bash, June 5-7
  • A special guest performance on Saturday, Nov. 8 (to be announced later)

And minor celebrations and events as the season progresses

What is going to be special about the programming of this year's season?

Our 75th is a "don't miss a moment" season. We're really pulling out all the stops. It probably has the best variety of plays and musicals ever produced at Barter. And it's geared with a new vision for the future and attracting new audiences. It is a season of moments that should not be missed by anyone as each play has its own special attraction; each is truly an event unto itself. You'll find some common themes in our 75th, but I don't really like to talk about this. I like the audience to discover those themes and those that tie to the world around us. Let's just say that I like to keep my painting untitled so the viewers can bring their own experiences and perceptions to the experience. All in all, I expect 2008 to be a record season for Barter.

-- There are some truly profound plays - Saint Joan, in my estimation one of George Bernard Shaw's best plays and one that is truly topical for today's world, and Blackbird, one of the most powerful new plays of a compelling (taboo) subject of any new play in years (talk about on the edge, this is an edgy play).

-- Great premieres in the funny and poignant category include Powe'r in the Blood, winner of our 2006 Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights; Don't Cry For Me Margaret Mitchell, which is the funniest play ever to premiere at Barter; The Cure for Love, a brand new comedy with a French twist; and a Catherine Bush play that is among her best.

-- The summer blockbuster musical will be Evita.

-- Some great family entertainment includes Peter Pan and Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

-- A couple of Barter's all-time audience favorites are returning: Keep on the Sunny Side and Miracle on 34th Street.

-- We're rocking the house for the first time ever on Barter stages with Tommy! and Bat Boy: The Tabloid Musical.

-- A good psychological thriller is The Desperate Hours.

-- A brand new holiday treat that I predict with be one of the hits of the season is Another Night Before Christmas.

-- Detailed descriptions of Barter's 75th season
-- Self Analysis: A Conversation with Rick Rose
-- Downtown Economic Development: A Hot Topic in Abingdon/People Influential in Barter's Success
-- 'Resiliency' Defines Barter Theatre
-- Barter Issues Call for Entries for Playwriting Competition