Directors and Designers
Richard Rose (Producing Artistic Director) Serving in his twentieth-season as only the third artistic director in Barter’s illustrious 80-year history, Rick has quadrupled Barter’s annual attendance to over 163,000 and expanded Barter’s touring with both The Barter Players and Barter's national tours to reach over 350,000 people annually around the United States. He has overseen the renovation of historic Barter Theatre, the improvements on Porterfield Square and the renovation and expansion of Barter Stage II, including the addition of The Barter Café. Under Rick’s leadership, Barter received the prestigious Virginia Torchbearer Award, recognizing Barter’s impact and business practices throughout the Commonwealth, as well as Business of the Year Award for the Tri-Cities Virginia/Tennessee region, the only non-profit organization to receive either award. In 2009, Barter received the Tourism Impact Award from the Blue Ridge Travel Association. In 2010, Barter received The Shining Star Award, recognizing its impact as a cultural and community leader in the Commonwealth. Artistically, Rick has brought Barter into the international spotlight through an international exchange with Russia, New York productions, the premieres of new works and the founding of Barter’s Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights. Barter’s audiences know Rick particularly as a director and author from his work on over 100 productions during his tenure here at Barter, including smash hits Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat and in past years, Another Night Before Christmas, Driving Miss Daisy and Wooden Snowflakes. Among other favorites are To Kill a Mockingbird, Keep on the Sunny Side: The Songs and Story of the Original Carter Family , Fiddler on the Roof, Déjà Vu, Wit, My Fair Lady, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Camelot, Sundown, The Diary of Anne Frank and Death of a Salesman. His original adaptations of plays have been extremely successful with Barter audiences, including It’s a Wonderful Life, A Modern Christmas Carol, Dracula!, Wuthering Heights, The Hound of the Baskervilles and, acknowledged as one of the best new regional theatre plays of the year, Frankenstein. He has also won awards for his directing at other regional theatres. Rick currently serves on the executive board of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, where he also serves on the tourism committee. He is the past president of Southern Highlands Attractions and serves on The Southwest Virginia Economic Development Group. Rick is a Paul Harris Fellow from the Abingdon Rotary Club, where he has previously been a board member. Rick has served on the Washington County United Way board and has previously served as chair of their annual campaign. Rick has his master of fine arts in theatre directing and design from the University of California at Davis and his bachelor of arts from St. Norbert College, DePere, Wisconsin, where he was honored with a Distinguished Achievement Award in Humanities. Rick has done post-graduate work at New York University and worked for the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City.
Amanda Aldridge (Resident Choreographer/Costume Designer) has been at Barter for nineteen seasons, choreographing over 35 and designing costumes for over 145 productions. It is a joy for Amanda to be able to combine her two passions. Amanda has choreographed and designed Barter’s productions of Annie, The Wizard of Oz, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat®, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Evita, Oliver, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Singin’ in the Rain, Gypsy, Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady and Camelot and choreographed The Full Monty, The Who’s Tommy and Revolutions. Additional Barter designs include Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily, The Blue-Sky Boys, The Diary of Anne Frank, Dracula!, Gigi, Phantom, 1776 and Keep on the Sunny Side: The Songs and Story of the Original Carter Family. Previously, Amanda studied in New York and worked as resident costume designer and choreographer at the American Stage Festival in NH and Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Massachusetts.
Katy Brown (Associate Artistic Director, Artistic Director of The Barter Players) has been working at Barter Theatre since 1998 as a director, teacher, actor, choreographer, dramaturge, and administrator. Katy has directed over 60 professional productions, including Hamlet, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, The 39 Steps, The Road to Appomattox, A Walk in the Woods, The Quiltmaker, Anne of Green Gables, A Thousand Cranes, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, The Taming of the Shrew, Doubting Thomas, Violet, The Fantasticks, The Foreigner and Barter’s national tour of Of Mice and Men. As Artistic Director of the Barter Players, she extended the season of shows for young audiences at Barter Theatre to include the entire year and has helped to build the Players into one of the most sought after training grounds for young actors in the country. Katy graduated summa cum laude as an English and Theatre double major from Berry College. Since moving to the TriCities, she has been a recipient of the YW Tribute to Women in the Arts Award, named one of 2005’s Women of Influence in The Business Journal, and been inducted to the 2010 class of the 40 Under 40. She helped to create Barter’s internationally acclaimed online gaming system and has taught workshops in acting and auditioning nationwide. Katy is head of casting for Barter Theatre as well as the Director of the Young Playwright’s Festival and continues to learn something new from her work at the theatre every day.
Mitch Critel (Technical Director) is proud to call Barter Theatre and the area home. In his time at Barter he has served as technical director for over 50 productions, as the chair of the safety committee and on the board of the Abingdon Farmer’s Market, all while also maintaining a micro-farm and traveling the country to hunt. Previously, Mitch taught technical theatre at the University of Evansville where he also served as technical director. Mitch holds a MFA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a BFA from the University of Nebraska. Other companies he has worked for include the National Geographic Channel, Nebraska Repertory Theatre, Kansas City Rep and the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival and Wide Awake Films on two Emmy award-winning films.
Camille Davis (Associate Director/Director of Production) has spent over twenty-five years as a production manager, lighting designer and occasional scenic designer in theatres stretching from Kentucky to New York City to Sag Harbor at the end of Long Island. She has had the privilege of working with such theatre notables as Anne Bogart, Beverly Emmons, Kristin Linklater and Arnold Aronson. Most recently, Camille served as production manager for the graduate theatre program at Columbia University in New York City. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, she would like to thank the Barter family for “welcoming her back to the south"! BA, Centre College. MFA, Carnegie Mellon University.
Andrew Morehouse (Resident Electrician) Andrew Morehouse holds an MFA in Lighting Design from Wayne State University’s Hilberry Theatre. Since graduating, he has designed for and worked as technical director for the Paramount Center for the Arts (Bristol, TN), and as assistant technical director at Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Girardeau, MO). Andrew has been master electrician here at Barter since January 2010, and is happy to be able to bring his design abilities to Barter’s already large pool of talent.
Derek Smith (Resident Set Designer) This season begins Derek’s first as Barter’s Resident Set Designer, and he is excited for the new opportunities this new role presents! For the past eight years he has been a scenic artist at Barter while also designing sets for a few of Barter's productions. Past designs include: Betrayal, Beyond Gravity, Lear, Othello, Four Places, Circumference of a Squirrel, The Glass Menagerie, The 39 Steps, and A Tale of Two Cities. Derek is a native of Kingsport, TN, and is an alumnus of the Savannah College of Art and Design where he received a bachelor’s degree in painting in 2003.
Helen Stratakes (Properties Designer) is happy to be back again at Barter Theatre, this time as the Props Designer. Starting as an intern in 1989 with Barter Theatre, she has worked with Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, CT, and Denver Center Theater Company in Denver, CO. Helen’s favorite shows here at Barter Theatre include: A Walk in the Woods, Golf with Alan Sheppard and Around the World in 80 Days.