Barter Theatre opened on June 10, 1933 in the midst of The Great Depression era. It was one man Robert Porterfield's idea to have patrons pay with produce instead of traditional money, which led to the theatre becoming a year-round theatre having more than 160,000 visitors each year. Today, Barter Theatre is one of America's last standing year-round professional resident repertory theaters.
Barter Theatre is a professional resident repertory, meaning that there are not only plays shown here, but also musical plays, and musical concerts. Year-round shows appeal to the seasons as during the holiday seasons, plays including A Christmas Carol and Rudolph are shown.
Barter Theatre also offers a selection of classic theatre plays for kids of all ages. The Barter Players of professional artists aim to perform world-class theatre for young audiences by presents them with productions that allow them to have high amounts of energy and to open their imagination. The Barter Players not only perform at Barter Theatre, but also all over the East coast at schools, making it easier for young audiences to access world-class theatre productions.
Barter Theatre is the first hot spot that should be visited to start off the New Year. The theatre’s January Jams series is a set of concerts that showcase music legends, especially those that are popular in the bluegrass and country genres. Every weekend in January, a music hungry audience will have the opportunity of experiencing an intimate concert. Some of the music artists taking the stage include Justin Townes Earle, Mandolin Orange, and John Cowan.