Saturday, September 6, 2014

Thank You to the Amazing Barter Theatre!


I am very late with this post, but my trip in July down to the Barter Theatre was wonderful.  And surreal.  I wrote Lions of Babylon seven years ago, and this was the first time I've had a staged reading of the play!  The director, Emily Grove, and the actors did a fabulous job and I learned a lot.  I have put Lions "in a drawer" for quite a long time, but this opportunity will definitely lead to a new draft sometime soon.

Barter Actresses Tricia Matthews, Carrie Smith, and Ashley Campos in the dressing room before the reading.
I was also really impressed with how many people came to the reading (and all the readings in the festival).  There is an extremely healthy theater-going community in Abingdon, VA!  Over a hundred people were in the audience, and often there would be two readings in one afternoon, and folks would stay for both and participate actively and thoughtfully in the discussions.  I walked out of my reading in a happy haze and wandered over to Associate Artistic Director Katy Brown mumbling about how impressed I was with the community at Barter.  She smiled and said, "Yeah, it's kind of like a theatrical Brigadoon around here or something."  Indeed.

The audience arriving before my reading!

In addition to the Appalachian Play Festival, there were also five productions in rep happening.  I got a chance to catch their Wizard of Oz, which after touring the historic Main Stage theater and experiencing the wig room, I had to see all the technicolor-coiffed munchkins for myself.  It was a lot of fun.

The unbelievably cool wig room in the Main Theatre.

Again, a very special thank you to Richard Rose (Artistic Director, who cooked an amazing dinner for all of the festival playwrights at his house!), Nick Piper (AFPP Director and a great actor), Catherine Bush (the Barter playwright-in-residence), and all of the very talented and welcoming people at Barter Theatre.

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