Account: | Cart: ( items)

Barter Youth Academy FAQ

What is Barter Youth Academy?
The Barter Youth Academy is a performance-based educational program that allows students of all ages the chance to learn and develop their performance and storytelling skills. Using the acting and rehearsing techniques of the Barter Resident Acting Company, students work through the theatre experience from the audition to the final performance onstage in front of a live audience. BYA provides a safe, positive environment to enhance the abilities for the beginning performer, as well as shaping the talents of the advanced youth actor.

Why should I choose Barter Youth Academy? How is it different from other theatre opportunities?
Barter Youth Academy is an educational program through the Barter Theatre. There are many opportunities in our surrounding communities that allow your student to rehearse and perform; however, BYA is here to help your student grow by learning in an educational environment focused on each individual student, created by our staff of theatre professionals and educators. Additionally, BYA helps augment theatrical and educational opportunities your student might already have through their school or community, so the next time your student goes to an audition, they’ll be well-prepared to do their best and draw on the skills that they have developed in our workshops!
BYA also helps build confidence, self-esteem, and develops a true team mindset. Unfortunately, due to curriculum restructuring, a lot of schools aren’t able to the focus on the performing arts and the many gifts it can deliver. BYA fills the gap, and gives your student a more well-rounded education and experience. Our teachers strive to give each student the attention they deserve, and address their individual wants or needs. Does your student want to feel more comfortable speaking in front of a large crowd? Do they want to learn to think more openly and creatively? Do they want to make more friends outside of school? Time and time again, we have heard parents tell us these are exactly the kind of skills BYA fosters and supports.

How long are the classes?
Our Fall and Spring workshop sessions are 8 weeks long (with an extra week added in Spring to accommodate snow days), and meet once a week after school. Each class will meet for an hour or more (depending on the age group). Summer workshops meet for six weeks, with two classes per week. (Elementary usually meets for 2 hours twice a week during the summer. Middle/High School meets for 3 hours twice a week during the summer.)

What is your absence policy?
To make sure that everyone gets the full benefit of these classes, attendance is crucial to student success. While we understand that prior commitments and emergencies come up, we limit absences to 2 during spring and fall classes, and 4 during summer classes. If this limit is exceeded, then a discussion between the instructor and parent will be held to determine whether it would be beneficial for the student to remain in class.

Where are the classes held?
In Abingdon, VA: The Barter Production and Education Building on Trigg Street.
In Bristol, TN: The Paramount Center for the Arts on State Street.
In Johnson City, TN: Shellshead Ballet Co. on E. Main Street.
In Kingsport, TN: The Kingsport Higher Education Center on W Market Street.

How much are classes?
Tuition prices vary by age group and season. Please select your appropriate class on our registration page to see current tuition information.

Why do I have to pay a deposit?
Because of the growing popularity of our classes, we want to make sure that your student is guaranteed a spot once they register. This deposit locks in their spot in class and you can pay the remaining tuition later.

Are there discounts available?
Yes. We do offer a returning student discount which is available during the first month of registration.

Are there scholarships available?
Absolutely! BYA will never turn a student away due to their financial situation. To apply for a scholarship, select your class and pay the initial deposit, then contact our Director of Admissions Madeleine Bullen at

Didn’t find your answer here?
Feel free to contact us at
or email us at