Barter Theatre Announces College Playwriting Festival

Barter Theatre is launching a new College Playwriting Festival. College students from across the region have submitted plays for the opportunity to have their play performed for the public on the final day of the festival. Students will also be participating in workshops, discussions, and other theatre related events.

"This festival is designed to give undergraduate students a glimpse into the professional world of theatre by developing short plays with professional artists as mentors and participants," said Nicholas Piper, director of the College Playwriting Festival.

Students from six area colleges and universities are participating: Emory & Henry College in Emory, Va., Milligan College in Milligan College, Tenn., East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in Johnson City, The University of Virginia's College at Wise, King University in Bristol, Tenn., and Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.

Students from each school submit 10-minute plays, and a Barter panel will choose one play from each school that will be developed throughout the course of the festival. Students will rehearse their plays with a Barter actor and director. To aid in the development, the plays will be cast inter-collegiately. "An ETSU student may end up being in an Emory & Henry students' play," says Piper. "We thought it would be a great opportunity for students and faculty from various schools to meet and work together, something they rarely have a chance to do."

The College Playwriting Festival will be held January 16th -18th, 2015. The festival will culminate with a free public performance of the six staged play readings on Sunday, January 18th, at 3:00pm in Barter Stage II.

"Our hope is to provide a fun and engaging weekend that will give students an opportunity to further develop their skills, as well as make professional connections that could carry on into their careers," says Piper.

BARTER THEATRE. With its unique beginnings during the Great Depression, Barter Theatre, one of this nation's oldest professional non-profit theatres, is located in beautiful historic Abingdon, Virginia. Barter Theatre is a theatre of firsts: one of this nation's first professional regional theatres, the first professional theatre to be designated a state theatre - The State Theatre of Virginia and more. Today, Barter offers a variety of musicals, classics, comedies, dramas and new southern and Appalachian plays performed February - December yearly on two stages: Barter Theatre and Barter Stage II. Barter Theatre continues to be one of the nation's most vibrant and exciting professional theatre experiences.

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