It's not just theare...it's Barter! Barter Theatre, the State Theatre of Virginia, is a regional treasure and nationally recognized professional, repertory theatre. Patrons can enjoy up to four shows in two days on two unique stages of a great selection of comedies, musicals, dramas and new works year-round. Enhance your Barter experience with special packages. Also, visit Bob's at Barter, our newly renovated cafe.
Barter has a unique beginning. It was founded during the Great Depression by Robert Porterfield, an out of work actor living in New York who saw an abundance of food in his homeland SW VA, but no live theatre. He opened the doors in 1933 proclaiming, "With vegetables you cannot sell, you can buy a good laugh." At the end of the first year the Barter company cleared $4.35 in cash, two barrels of jelly, and a collective weight gain of over 300 pounds.
Gregory Peck, Ernest Bognine, Patricia Neal, Ned Beatty, Hume Cronyn, Gary Collins and Larry Linville are among the many famous alumni who launched their careers here. Today, Barter continues to thrive as the nation's longest running professional theatre.