Barter Theatre is once more returning to its namesake by offering patrons the chance to barter for tickets to a show with its annual “Barter Days” event.
“Barter Days” allows patrons to barter for their admission to three performances by donating non-perishable food items for tickets to the show.
This year’s “Barter Days” will include: “The Cottage” on Tuesday, June 13 at 7:30 p.m.; “The Savannah Sipping Society” on Thursday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m.; and “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” on Saturday, June 17 at 10:00 a.m.
The concept of bartering for tickets started when Robert Porterfield founded Barter Theatre during the Great Depression to offer local farmers the chance to gain admission to plays by trading some of their crops for tickets. This allowed patrons who otherwise couldn’t afford admission to enjoy the theatre and helped provide food for the actors at the time. By the end of the first season the Barter Company cleared $4.35 in cash, two barrels of jelly and a collective weight gain of more than 300 pounds.
No advance reservations can be made for any tickets that will be purchased with goods during “Barter Days”, and only a limited amount of barter tickets will be available for each of the three performances. Tickets are distributed on a first come first serve basis. Anyone interested is reminded that these events are usually very popular, so it is recommended to arrive early.
Barter requests, when possible, that those interested bring an amount of food equivalent to the cost of a ticket. Barter staff will begin collecting food one hour prior to the show times listed, and all collections will be donated to a local food bank to help those in need in our area.
Photo: Founder Robert Porterfield barters with a patron in the early days of Barter Theatre