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Volume 26, Number 5 — May 2019

Moving Forward

Richard Rose, producing artistic director Barter Theatre
Richard Rose, producing artistic director Barter Theatre

"Discussion is extremely healthy."

By RICHARD ROSE | June 04, 2007

Reprinted by permission from Barter Theatre's Esprit magazine, May 2007.

We've had a lot of discussion among the staff about Paul Russell's WWII setting for Oliver!.

We've had a lot of discussion among The Board of Trustees about commissioning internationally-known Abingdon fantasy artist Charles Vess for the public art to be placed across from the theatre.

We've had a lot of discussion among our artistic staff about Steven Dietz whose play More Fun Than Bowling is part of Barter's summer repertory.

We've had a lot of discussion among staff, donors and Board about Barter's housing and building needs.

We've had a lot of discussion with members of our community about the upcoming play, Doubting Thomas, by John Green, author of the controversial The Liquid Moon.

Discussion is extremely healthy; it's how we move forward. Through healthy and respectful discussion, we have moved Barter forward into the vibrant and exciting organization that it is today. No decision concerning Barter is made without invigorating discussion. I am extremely honored to be a part of an organization that can have such healthy dialogue for the good of Barter, our community and our region.

It is my belief that Paul Russell's Oliver! will be one of the most exciting, interesting and entertaining productions of this beloved family musical ever.

The sculpture honoring Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream of Titania, the Queen of the Fairies, and Puck, one of Shakespeare's most famous jesters, by Charles Vess and his collaborator, David Spence, at 16 feet high and with a glorious water feature, will be one of the most spectacular works of public art to be found anywhere.

Seattle playwright Steven Dietz is one of the most prolific and profound playwrights of our time and, because his work has largely been produced outside of New York, is virtually unknown. Barter audiences deserve to experience his work. His comedy More Fun Than Bowling, written 20 years ago, is still one of my favorite plays.

Barter has been grappling with housing and other problems of depreciating buildings for most of its existence. Now is the time to solve these problems.

With Ted Haggard in the news, John Green's new play is more timely than ever and sure to spur some of the most interesting post show discussions ever experienced at Barter.

We encourage you to lend your voice to the discussion of Barter. Contact us with your thoughts at or visit

Help us move forward into the future.

A! ExtraTopics: Theatre