The Illustrious Barter Theatre: Performing Arts & Theater History

In the Appalachian Highlands of Virginia, enjoy performances at the famous Barter Theatre, learn the secrets of theater arts from directors and actors and explore backstage.
Rating (4)
Program No. 22565RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

2018 marked the 85th season of the grand historic Barter Theatre, one of the longest running professional theaters in the nation. Tucked in the Appalachian Highlands of Virginia, Barter Theatre — also the State Theater of Virginia — remains one of the premier theaters in America and an ideal location to learn the intricacies of the stage. Discover the rich history of the building, enjoy performances on the main stage and get exclusive backstage access. Meet the many faces of Barter including artistic directors, actors and choreographers, and take workshops on playwriting and acting.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking on flat surfaces up to 2 hours.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Get insider access to the esteemed Barter Theatre as you meet the directors, actors, costume designers and choreographers behind the productions.
  • Learn the performing arts in workshops on everything from playwriting to improvisation.
  • Explore the beautiful town of Abingdon, and enjoy a luxurious dinner at The Martha Washington Inn.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a value-priced single room. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Virginia Creeper Trail Companion
by Edward H. Davis & Edward B. Morgan
With photos, historic train schedules, and detailed maps, this guidebook enables the user to understand the Virginia Creeper Trail’s origin as an important railroad. Also included are essays on the region’s geology, trees, wildflowers, fish, birds, and mammals. The combination of the historical perspective and the modern natural science in The Companion will enhance the trail experience for anyone who travels the Virginia Creeper Trail. This book is available at the SWVA 4-H Educational Center to read.
Abingdon, Virginia - Then and Now
by Donna Gayle Akers
This book contains around 200 historic photographs taken over the past century of Abingdon’s many well-known town entities, personalities, and businesses. The Stonewall Jackson Female Institute, Martha Washington Inn, and the Barter Theatre are all included in this beautiful celebration of Abingdon’s heritage.
Virginia Highlands
by Susan J. Harrington
This book highlights the history of the local region, including Wythe, Smyth, Grayson, and Washington Counties.
Washington County
by Donna Akers Warmuth
Washington County provides an intricate visit to yesteryear, with over 200 historic scenes of this rural region. Highlights include beautiful photos of The Virginia Creeper trains and the communities of Damascus, Meadowview, and Glade Spring.

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