The Theatre: Actors and Hams

In 1933 a disheartened young actor who had pounded Manhattan's pavements far oftener than he had trod its boards saw some kids swapping candy for marbles, and got an idea. Thereupon young Robert Porterfield, with fire in his eye, a dollar in his pocket and 21 famished actors in his wake, went back where he came from, to Abingdon in the Virginia mountains. There he opened a summer theatre, offering tickets for 35¢ in cash or the equivalent in barter.

To show business, the barter idea sounded as crackbrained as opening a theatre at the bottom of a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!