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The Barter Players portrayal of ‘The Call of the Wild’ delights audiences in Louisa

Posted on Friday, March 2, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Garret Houston (l to r), Sarah Van Deusen, Rusty Allen and Shaan Sharma portrayed several different roles throughout the performance of “The Call of the Wild” Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Louisa Arts Center. The production was sponsored by the Rotary Foundation and Dominion Energy and featured actors from the acclaimed Barter Theater in Abingdon, Virginia.

The Louisa Rotary Foundation partnered with Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation to bring the Barter Players of Abingdon’s historic Barter Theater to Louisa County last week.

They presented the Louisa Arts Center’s first ever matinee on Saturday, performing their rendition of Aesop’s Fables, and then in the evening, presented Catherine Bush’s adaptation of Jack London’s “Call of the Wild.”

“It’s a thank you to our sponsors,” Pat Hanley said, chairman of the Barter Players Program with The Rotary Foundation. “We like to thank them for all they do throughout the year.”

The main sponsor of the evening, Dominion Energy, was represented by Sarah Perkinson, external affairs representative with Dominion Energy.

“We believe that part of education is more than just what’s inside the school, but experiencing the arts,” Perkinson said.

The Rotary Club is one of the world’s largest and oldest charitable organizations, with more than 1.2 million members worldwide. The Louisa branch was founded in 1938 and was described by a regional representative of the organization as a “small club with a big heart.”

The play portrays Buck, a St. Bernard that has been taken from his life of leisure in California and thrust into the world of Gold Rush-era Alaska, where he learns hardship, cruelty, and the law of “Club and Fang.” In the touching story, Buck learns to survive in a world far from his home, and makes friends and enemies with humans and other dogs, and is drawn by a “scent, both known and unknown” that leads him back to his ancestors.

Performed by the acclaimed actors of the Barter Theater in Abingdon, Virginia, the production filled the Arts Center’s theater. Actors held a meet-and-greet with the audience afterwards.

“This is the height of our year,” Sarah Van Deusen, one of the Barter Players, said. “We’re always happy to come here. Everyone in the community is so thankful and appreciative of what we’re doing. The performances are really special.”