A! Magazine for the Arts

Opening the Barter Main Stage season Feb. 14 is <em>Walking Across Egypt</EM> with Mary Lucy Bivins..

Opening the Barter Main Stage season Feb. 14 is Walking Across Egypt with Mary Lucy Bivins..

Barter Theatre opens 80th Season

January 27, 2013

ABINGDON, VA - Barter Theatre is ready to raise the curtain on its 80th anniversary season in February. Featuring comedies, dramas, big musicals and brand new works, 2013 is poised to be one of wide variety.

Opening the Barter Main Stage season Feb. 14 is Walking Across Egypt, by Catherine Bush, based on the best-selling novel by Southern writer Clyde Edgerton. Starring Barter audience favorite Mary Lucy Bivins, this story is funny, wise and truly heartwarming.

Last year, the play received its world premiere in a mini-production presented as part of Barter's Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights. Audience response was overwhelmingly positive, and Barter realized that this uplifting story deserved a full production in 2013.

Mattie Rigsbee (Mary Lucy Bivins) is an older Southern woman with a deeply held faith and a habit of taking care of others. Lately, she feels like no one needs her. Things are about to change for Mattie when she harbors a juvenile delinquent, and then, of all things, brings him to church with her.

"It's a very sweet and sincere tale that's often laugh-out-loud funny. Mary Lucy Bivins is perfect in the role of Mattie, an independent Southern woman just trying to do the right thing. When her two ideas of what is right clash, she's forced to make a very difficult decision," said Director of Patron Services Lori Hester.

Across the street at Barter Stage II, an outrageously funny musical spoof of Gone With the Wind opens Feb. 7. "I'll Never Be Hungry Again," also written by Catherine Bush, is one of the most requested shows in the theatre's history. Barter's impressive cast of five portray all the favorite characters of the movie, and the musical numbers add to the humor. Songs like "The Corset Song," "The Butler Did It," "It's Curtains for Scarlett" and more are included.

"We first produced the show in 2006, and since then we receive calls and emails frequently asking us bring the show back," said Hester. "There's been tremendous buzz about the show already."

This spring, "Walking Across Egypt" and "I'll Never Be Hungry Again" will be in repertory with "Little Women," "Unnecessary Farce" and "Half a World Away." This is just the beginning of the 2013 season at Barter Theatre. Many other shows are slated including "Les Misérables," "Southern Fried Funeral," "Good Ol' Girls" and "Kiss Me Kate."

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit BarterTheatre.com or call 276.628.3991.