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Volume 24, Number 9 — September 2017

Dominion Donates to Barter's Appalachian Festival of Plays

March 08, 2011

ABINGDON, Va Dominion recently donated $25,000 to Barter's Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights (AFPP).

Preston Sloane, station director, and Charlie Scott, project site manager, presented Richard Rose, producing artistic director of Barter, and Nicholas Piper, associate director of new play development, both of Barter Theatre, with a gift enabling the State Theatre of Virginia to further advance the AFPP Barter's new play development program.

Now in its 11th year, the AFPP focuses on supporting both the development of plays about the region and playwrights from the region.

"Charitable giving and leadership of campaigns to benefit non-profit organizations are an integral part of Dominion's social responsibility, said Sloane of Dominion. "We are extremely proud to give to Barter Theatre as they promote the Appalachian region, bust negative stereotypes and create new works," added Sloane.

"Dominion is pleased to align itself with Barter Theatre's Appalachian Festival of Play and Playwrights. Barter is a vital part of the arts community and helps make our region a better place," said Scott.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,600 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 14 states.

Barter's AFPP has become the standard in playwriting festivals. "No other theatre in the United States has a festival like this. Not only is the AFPP a competition and an outlet for new playwrights to gain voice, but it is also a development process. We partner with the playwright and assist in every stage of development with the goal that each work will be produced," said Piper of Barter Theatre. "This gift from Dominion is extremely important in furthering the AFPP's mission and we are extremely grateful. It is important for Appalachian plays and playwrights to be included in the lexicon of American theatre," added Piper.

Many plays from Barter's AFPP have been further developed and received world premieres at Barter. Douglas Pote's "Keep on the Sunny Side: The Songs and Stories of the Original Carter Family," Ron Osborne's "First Baptist of Ivy Gap," "Showtime at First Baptist," as well as Deborah Brevoort's "The Blue-Sky Boys," are among the many produced.

The AFPP has and continues to be remarkable in dispelling stereotypes and bringing awareness to the region's culture. Not only are winning plays of Barter's AFPP often produced at Barter as full length productions, the plays go on to other theatres across the country. In 2008, every single play that placed in the AFPP the previous year went on to be produced, if not at Barter, then at other theatres.

Held every fall during the Virginia Highlands Festival, Barter presents five to seven staged readings and a mini-production. Barter has several plays that have come from the AFPP in the 2011 lineup, including: Ron's Osborne's "Saving Old Smokey," Kelly Kingston-Strayer's "A Southern Exposure" and Catherine Bush's "The Road to Appomattox" and "Wooden Snowflakes."

For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com. For more information on Barter Theatre and Barter's Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights, visit www.BarterTheatre.com or call 276.628.3991.

A! ExtraTopics: Theatre