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'Pied Piper’ strolls into Barter

Staff Report • May 29, 2013 at 3:16 PM

The classic German fairy tale of “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” has been told and retold for more than 500 years.

Now, playwright Catherine Gray has penned a new version for The Barter Players, the children’s company of Barter Theatre, that breathes new life into the beloved story while remaining firmly planted in its traditional roots.

Gray’s adaptation of “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” runs through June 22 at Barter Stage II in Abingdon, Va.

Tickets are $12; group rates are available. Barter Day for “The Pied Piper” is Saturday, June 8 at the 10 a.m. performance. To honor Barter’s beginnings in the Great Depression, when patrons traded food for tickets, audiences are asked to bring non-perishable food in exchange for admission to the show. Donations will benefit Feeding America: Southwest Virginia.

Once upon a time in the town of Hamelin, Germany, a mysterious man could charm animals with his music. When the town of Hamelin becomes overrun with rats, the villagers seek him out and ask him to play his magical flute and lead the rodents away. But when the mayor of Hamelin refuses to pay the piper for his services, the townspeople learn a lesson they will not soon forget.

“This show is an exciting exploration of imagination. The Players become different characters in the blink of an eye,” said Katy Brown, The Barter Players’ artistic director.

The Players — Kristy Bissell, Patrice Foster, Emily Grove, Barrett Guyton, Micah Hein and Sam McCalla — meet and greet the audience before each performance, and talkbacks are available with prior arrangement.

The Barter Players are a group of professional theatre artists who perform for young audiences at Barter Theatre and Barter Stage II April through December and in schools during their East Coast tour, January through March.

The troupe presents high-energy and original productions that capture the imagination, intelligence and sophistication of today’s youth while providing the best in the classic literature and beloved story adaptation.

For tickets or more information, call Barter’s box office at (276) 628-3991 or visit www.bartertheatre.com.

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