ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – The fall season has arrived at the historic Barter Theatre, and this season, cast members will be performing four different shows between its two stages.
“All four of those shows will be up and running by early October,” said Katy Brown, Barter Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director. “But two of them, Mockingbird and Misery are already up now.”
Barter Theatre, entering its 90th year since opening in 1933, is choosing to put on shows with familiar names for its 2023 fall season.
“First up, we opened ‘Misery’,” said Brown. “We also have done ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, and that will also be playing all fall along at Gilliam Stage. We are also doing Clue, which is based on the board game, but also the nineties movie. And for kids this fall, we are doing ‘Where the Red Fern Grows’.”
The theatre has a history of celebrated actors who once graced the Abingdon stages. Because of that history, Brown said ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is very special to the theatre.
“It’s been 20 years since it’s been here, and we’re especially excited because this movie made Gregory Peck famous, and Gregory Peck got his start here at Barter,” said Brown. “So it’s a lovely crossover that way.”
The shows are chosen a year in advance, and there’s a lot of work that goes into making sure cast members are ready for an audience.
“We’re designing it all about six months in advance,” said Brown. “And then about three months before the show, we start rehearsing it with the actors in the rehearsal hall. And then we have three or four days in the theater where all of the elements come together.”
Barter has already put together the lineup for the 2024 season and will announce the shows on October 29.