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2019 Barter Days

June 12 – Church Basement Ladies – 7:30 p.m., Food truck will arrive at 5:30 p.m.

June 13 – Exit Laughing– 7:30 p.m., Food Truck will arrive at 5:00 p.m.

June 15 – James and the Giant Peach– 10:00 a.m., Food Truck will arrive at 9:00 a.m.

There are only a limited amount of tickets available for each of the three Barter Days performances. These are distributed on a first come, first serve basis.
Unlike with standard performances, you cannot make reservations ahead of time. These events are usually very popular, so it is recommended to arrive early.

Barter Theatre requests that, when possible, those interested in participating in Barter Days bring an amount of food equivalent to the cost of a ticket
Because of the popularity of the event, Barter Theatre cannot guarantee that everyone who shows up will be able to participate in the trade offer. Barter Theatre would like to remind everyone that there are a limited amount of seats available for each performance, and once tickets are sold, the box office cannot sell any more for that performance.


Each year, Barter Theatre celebrates its heritage by inviting patrons to bring non-perishable food items to exchange for theatre tickets. All food collected will be donated to a local food bank to help feed those in need throughout our region. Limited tickets are available. Barter staff will begin collecting food one-hour prior to the show times listed. Tickets will be handed out on a first-come first-serve basis.

As many people already know, Barter Theatre got its name through the practice of bartering. The year was 1933, and the country was going through the great depression. Work and food were scarce for Robert Porterfield, an enterprising young man in New York City, and his fellow actors. Porterfield knew that his hometown region of Southwest Virginia had an abundance of food, but no live theatre, so he recruited his fellow actors and brought them to Abingdon.

Through the idea, “With vegetables you cannot sell, you can buy a good laugh,” Barter Theatre opened its doors.The concept of trading “ham for Hamlet” caught on quickly. Experience part of the rich history of Barter Theatre by bartering for your own admission. More importantly, help those in need in your community.

For more information about Barter Theatre's humble beginnings,click here.