Welcome to the seventh day of our Spring Fund Drive, Celebrating Virginia Theater. Have you shown your support for the arts in our community?

Did you know that Richmond’s Barksdale Theatre was the first dinner theater in the country? Did you know Barter Theater was the first State Theater in the country? And that the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was the first art museum in the country to house a resident theater company? Theater in Virginia leads the nation in innovating and in finding different means of support.

It is Thanks to YOU, our loyal supporters, that the Hamner Theater is alive and flourishing in Nelson County. We are your theater! But this theater doesn’t come for free, or even for the low $10 ticket price. We can continue to bring theater to you only through your continued generosity. Any amount you can give will help us to bring you more theater, more music, more adventure. No donation is too small…

Our Goal for this Spring Fund Drive is $20,000.
We are the grateful recipients of two $5000 donations. These donations came with a challenge – we need to raise double the amount, or $20,000. To put this in perspective, $20,000 is 400 donations of $50.

Thanks To All Who Have Already Given!
Please accept our heartfelt thanks and know that it is only because of YOU that we are able to continue bringing you:

  • special events to surprise you:

Last September, we brought you a special guest production of The Tempest from Four County Players. Coming up at the end of May, for 4 shows only, Four County Players return with The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde!

How you can help to make our Spring Fund Drive, Celebrating Virginia Theater a success by giving to the Hamner Theater.

Remember, if we were to survive on ticket price alone, we’d need to charge more than $100 per ticket to make our basic budget. But we are committed to keeping our ticket prices at $10, so that everyone can come. Do you support this idea? Theater is a vital part of any community and we hope when you think ‘theater’ you think Hamner!

Three easy ways to donate today:

  • Call 434.361.1999, or, use our contact form to make a pledge.
  • Download a donation form, and mail it to us at Hamner Theater, P.O. Box 106, Nellysford, Virginia 22958.
  • Donate via PayPal (no PayPal account required). Donate Button

The Hamner Theater is a non-profit 501(c)(3) project of the Rockfish Valley Community Center. All donations to the Hamner Theater are tax-deductible.

Answers to Day 6 Questions:
Match the Quotations to the source. Here is who said what…

Art is an offensive weapon in the defense against the enemy.
Pablo Picasso

Two bucks is two bucks.
Dodge from Buried Child by Sam Shepard

Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.
Pablo Picasso

I haven’t any money – I am an actress, not a banker!
Arkadina from The Seagull by Anton Chekov

I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.
Oscar Wilde

No one has ever become poor by giving.
Anne Frank

Art is never chaste.
Pablo Picasso

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
Winston Churchill

Read on to find out interesting facts about Theater in Virginia.
Did you know that that the Barksdale Theatre in Richmond opened the nations’s first dinner theater?

Here is how it came about (from Barksdale Theatre website): “When they learned that their new neighbors looked forward to eating on evenings out, they combined favorite recipes and created the nation’s first dinner theatre. They lived upstairs, performed downstairs, and served hearty meals in the historic rooms that fell in between.”

Also, the Barksdale was the first performing arts organization in Virginia to open its doors to integrated audiences, in defiance of Jim Crow laws.

How is the Barter Theatre like a cardinal, milk and the dogwood?

The Cardinal is the Virginia State Bird, Virginia’s State Beverage is Milk, the Virginia State Tree is the Dogwood, and the Barter Theatre is Virginia’s official state theater!

From the Barter Theatre website: “The Barter Theatre was the brainchild of Robert Porterfield, an actor and native of southwest Virginia. In 1933, in the midst of the Depression, Porterfield and his company of actors opened the theatre in Abingdon, charging playgoers 35 cents for admission or the equivalent in food—hence the name Barter Theatre. Playwrights meanwhile were paid their royalties with Virginia hams.

“On June 10, 1933, Barter Theatre opened its doors, proclaiming “With vegetables you cannot sell, you can buy a good laugh.” The price of admission was 40 cents or equivalent amount of produce. Four out of five Depression-era theatregoers paid their way with vegetables, dairy products and livestock. At the end of the first season, the Barter Company cleared $4.35 in cash, two barrels of jelly, and a collective weight gain of over 300 pounds.”

Famous alumni of the Barter include Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal (who made the role of Olivia famous in Earl Hamner’s The Homecoming), Ernest Borgnine, and Hume Cronyn. In 1946, the Barter Theatre became the State Theatre of Virginia.

Some more Famous Virginians = a diverse bunch, including George Bingham, painter, John Marshall, jurist, Opechancanough, Powhatan leader, Walter Reed, army surgeon, Nat Turner, leader of slave uprising, Booker T. Washington, educator, James E. West, inventor, Cyrus Hall McCormick, inventor and Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson, dancer,

Please support the arts in your community by making a donation today – the Hamner Theater needs YOU.

If you know someone who might need help with cocktail conversation material, please forward this email to them. Thanks again.