I have lived in Abingdon, Virginia, for over 40 years and in Southwest Virginia for even longer. I went to see my first production at the Barter Theatre as a high school student coming from Blacksburg, Virginia.

I have seen many plays over the years in all kinds of genres. I was horrified to see the recent article in the paper stating the revenue losses this year. And then to see that the production of “Shrek” was blamed was heartbreaking.

I am 72 years old. I am not the kid that evidently this play was for. And I must say I might not have gone to see it if not for the “word of mouth” praises I was hearing about the amazing “Shrek” at the Barter this summer.

I did go see it. I was completely enchanted. It was wonderful. It was magical. I went back to see it a second time. It was a stunning show with wonderful voices and the stage presentation was so creative and fun. The dragon was spectacular!

This show was not a “bomb.” And those who did not go missed out on something wonderful.

But how can the Barter Theatre sustain such a drop in revenue during this season? It is very worrisome.

Abingdon is a special place with a special flavor. All of us from this community should be alarmed at this story. It would not take much for many things in our community to be lost, including our downtown courthouse. Creative thinking and planning must be at a premium at this time.

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