Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA

Sep 13, 2007
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
The Barter Theatre was established in 1933. It is so-named because during its initial season patrons could pay by cash or by food of equal value, thus bartering "ham for Hamlet." To honor that history, admission can be paid by food at least one performance each year and the food is given to a local charity. It is the longest running professional theatre in America and is still a vibrant repertory theater. Many famous actors such as Gregory Peck, Ernest Borgnine and others performed there early in their careers. Last week my wife and I saw the premiere production there of Frankenstein, a play adapted from the book.

These photos are nothing more than handheld snapshots captured very quickly before and after we watched the play to provide nice reminders of a good time. I'm displaying them here just in case anyone is interested in attending a performance in this historic theatre.

Photo #1
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Photo #2

The set for Frankenstein. Families in attendance were socially distanced and everyone in the audience was required to wear masks. Everyone entering the theatre had to show proof of COVID vaccinations. A couple people that presented vaccination cards that didn't match the name on their photo ID were turned away. The box office clerk told me attendance has been unusually low this season because of the pandemic. The sparse audience in the photo is also because the event was a midweek matinee.
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Photo #3

Traditional, comfortable seats
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Photo #4
Another traditional touch
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Photo #5
These stairs don't fit in with the traditional design of the rest of the interior, but on their own they are colorful and attractive.
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Last edited:
Nov 14, 2005
Winter Haven, florida
I love the smaller theaters, and the wonderful works they can perform.
I find, like photographers, there are lots of terrific actors/singers/lighting designers/ and others dedicated to their arts.
I find them in big cities and small towns. Not just on broadway or movies.
These keep the arts alive!
Thanks for bringing back memories.

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