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Barter Theatre

Abingdon, VA, United States

Barter Theatre, established on June 10, 1933, in Abingdon, Virginia, is recognized as the State Theatre of Virginia and holds the distinction of being the nation's longest-running professional theatre. Founded during the Great Depression by Robert Porterfield, the theatre initially accepted produce from local farmers as payment for admission, encapsulating its unique name and approach with the slogan "With vegetables you cannot sell, you can buy a good laugh." This innovative concept not only provided entertainment during hard times but also supported the local community, with the theatre's first season ending with a modest profit, two barrels of jelly, and a collective weight gain of over 300 pounds among the company members. Today, Barter Theatre celebrates its history with annual Barter Days, accepting donations for Feeding America Southwest Virginia. The theatre's facilities have a rich history, with the main building's furnishings salvaged from the Empire Theatre of New York City before its destruction, including a lighting system designed by Thomas Edison used through the mid-1970s. Barter Theatre has grown into a year-round regional theatre, attracting more than 160,000 visitors annually and has been a stepping stone for many famous actors and actresses. It has received numerous awards and accolades, including being designated as The State Theatre of Virginia in 1946 and winning the Antoinette Perry Tony Award for Regional Theatre in 1948. The theatre continues to honor its founder's legacy by fostering new talent and serving as a cultural hub for the community and beyond.

Barter Theatre, established on June 10, 1933, in Abingdon, Virginia, is recognized as the State Thea...


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Barter Theatre

Abingdon, VA, United States

2024 Artelize