Barter Theatre announces 2023 spring and summer season

Published 10:56 am Wednesday, April 5, 2023

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ABINGDON, Va. – Barter Theatre, the nation’s longest-running professional theatre celebrating 90 years serving audiences from far and wide, announces its Spring/Summer 2023 season. With spring in the air and summer just around the corner, the theatre is ready to welcome audience members from across the country to its two stages.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of beautiful, small-town Appalachia, Abingdon is the perfect getaway for vacationers– and the historical Barter Theatre is a must-see destination. With multiple Broadway-quality shows in repertory rotation, visitors throughout the warm months can look forward to an array of performances suited to their own personal taste.
Upcoming in Barter’s larger venue, Gillam stage, is Keep On the Sunny Side, the musical tale of country music legends The Carter Family, followed by the high-energy rock n’ roll classic Footloose. The summer season will also include a fresh comical adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, Sense and Sensibility,
For a more intimate experience, Barter’s Smith Theatre offers the Shakespearian tragedy Macbeth, Dominique Morisseau’s deeply moving Skeleton Crew, and the dark comedy Country Girls. Summer at Smith theatre will wrap up with Misery, an adaptation of the horror thriller novel by Stephen King.
For those looking for a fun option for younger audiences, The Barter Players will present an exciting line-up of family-friendly shows, including Junie B. Jones: The Musical, Rapunzel, and Robin Hood.
Barter’s ticket prices start at an affordable $20 ($16 for shows by The Barter Players).
“This is such an exciting time of year for us, as the weather warms up and our small town comes to life. We strive to present productions that reflect that liveliness and invite theatre lovers of all ages to come out and enjoy beautiful Abingdon and all it has to offer,” says Katy Brown, producing artistic director of Barter Theatre.
In addition to the Barter, Abingdon is widely known for its unrivaled biking and hiking along The Virginia Creeper Trail. Abingdon also tops USA Today’s list of Best Small Town Food Scenes and offers an array of fine art galleries, antique and artisan shopping experiences, and beautiful local vineyards. Visitors can also enjoy a relaxing stay and spa treatment at The Martha Washington Inn & Spa. And, if there happens to be a spring shower, a matinee at Barter will ensure they stay dry and entertained!
The schedule of school for this summer and fall include:
March 25 – April 15
The Last Romance
On an ordinary day in a routine life, 80-year-old widower Ralph decides to take a different path on his daily walk, and discovers the beautiful-yet-distant Carol on a bench at a dog park. Relying on his boyish charm and a fictional dog named Rex, Ralph begins to woo Carol, thus embarking on a hilarious and heartwarming journey that proves it’s never too late for romance.
April 4 – May 12
Junie B. Jones The Musical
It’s Junie B.’s first day of first grade and a lot of things have changed. Junie’s friend Lucille doesn’t want to be her best pal anymore, and on the bus, Junie B. makes friends with Herb, the new kid at school. Junie is also having trouble reading the blackboard and her teacher Mr. Scary thinks she may need glasses. There’s a lot to write about in her “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal!” Featuring a tremendously loveable character and fun-filled songs, Junie B. Jones will capture your heart just as the books captivated an entire generation of students!
April 8 – May 2
“Something wicked this way comes…” Returning home from battle, the victorious Macbeth meets three witches on the heath. Driven by their disturbing prophecies, he sets out on an ambitious path to take the crown – a plan that leads to murder and madness. Don’t miss this action-filled adaptation specifically tailored for Barter’s Smith Theatre.
April 22 – May 20
Keep On the Sunny Side
Come celebrate the original musical tale of America’s First Family of Country Music. When A.P. Carter convinces his wife Sara and his sister-in-law Maybelle to record with him at the Bristol Sessions, he has no idea he is about to change his life – and the world – forever. You’ll tap your toes to Carter Family favorites like Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow, Keep On the Sunnyside, Wildwood Flower, and Will the Circle Be Unbroken.
May 20 – June 4
Skeleton Crew
What do you do when the industry that has supported you, your family, and your entire region threatens to close up and go away? Skeleton Crew is set in 2008 Detroit, where a small automotive factory is on the brink of foreclosure and the livelihoods of a tight-knit family of workers hangs in the balance. This powerful play explores how loyalties and survival collide when a world changes.
June 3rd – August 20th
Join us for the high-energy musical based on the 80’s movie. When Ren and his mother leave Chicago and move to the rural community of Bomont, Ren finds himself at odds with most everyone, including the powerful Reverend Moore. As a result of a recent tragedy, Moore has convinced the town fathers to outlaw dancing. With the help of Ariel (Moore’s daughter) and Willard (his new friend), Ren convinces the Reverend to let teenagers dance again, and in the process, helps to heal the whole town.
June 6 – July 8
Robin Hood
Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men are determined to save their fellow citizens from the clutches of the wicked Prince John. One day, while robbing from the rich to give to the poor, Robin meets the beautiful Lady Marian, who is being forced to marry the prince against her will. Can Robin rescue her before it’s too late? Join us for an action-packed adventure through Sherwood Forest as we relive the most famous English legend of all.
July 11 – August 5
An angry Witch is keeping the beautiful maiden Rapunzel prisoner in a tower with one window and no door. When Prince Frederick discovers Rapunzel’s predicament, he climbs her golden braid of hair in order to rescue her. But Rapunzel has a few surprises of her own, including a lesson in girl-power and a super-cool haircut. With Frederick at her side, Rapunzel is able to convince the Witch and the world that True Love does indeed conquer all.
June 17 – August 19
Sense and Sensibility
Playwright Kate Hamill gives us a fresh, comic take on this beloved novel. This wildly theatrical adaptation follows two radically different sisters—sensible Elinor and emotional Marianne—in the wake of their father’s death, as they face wave after wave of dance partners, dinner parties and great loves amid an English society mad for gossip.
June 23 – August 12
Country Girls
Megan hates country music singer Rick Montgomery, and she and her best friend Kimmy have decided tonight’s concert will be his last. The two teens hatch an ill-conceived plot to kidnap the country music star in this laugh-out-loud, offbeat comedy. Songs will be sung, shots will be fired, and the girls will discover that revenge ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.
August 24 – November 4
Misery follows successful romance novelist Paul Sheldon, who is rescued from a car crash by his “number one fan,” Annie Wilkes, and wakes up captive in her secluded home. While Paul is convalescing, Annie reads his latest book and becomes enraged when she discovers the author has killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain. Annie forces Paul to write a new Misery novel, and he quickly realizes Annie has no intention of letting him go anywhere. The irate Annie has Paul writing as if his life depends on it…. and it does.

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