The Porterfield Society

Our Barter journey began in the 1960s when we each took a busload of students (Flora from Knoxville, Henry from Greeneville) to see a student matinee. When Flora and I met in 1974, one of our first dates was at Barter. Professionally and personally, Barter has been such an essential and entertaining part of our lives. Those same student matinees which first drew us to Barter are still ongoing, directly improving the quality of life for thousands of students each year. Barter’s educational programs, which are an integral and non-negotiable part of its mission, are near and dear to our hearts. As teachers, Flora and I did our best to touch and shape the future through our students.

Henry & Flora Joy

As founding members of the Porterfield Society, we are touching and shaping the future through Barter Theatre. Robert Porterfield said: “I’d like to think my work is not as mortal as myself…and that WHAT IT IS will outlast me and my generation, perhaps even the next generation and the one after that”. WHAT IT IS for Flora and me is a special place unlike any other. On countless evenings over the last 50+ years, there is no place we would rather have been than at Barter Theatre, absorbing everything that truly excellent live theatre has to offer. We are proud members of the Porterfield Society, knowing that we are helping to ensure that Barter continues to provide the same kinds of transporting, entertaining, and joyful experiences to the next generation and perhaps several more after that. Knowing that we are helping to perpetuate the “Porterfield dream”!

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