Barbara Bates Smith play to be performed at Jackson library

The Jackson County Public Library will host a performance of “Deck the Halls with Southern Writers,” the new one-woman Christmas play adapted and performed by Barbara Bates Smith, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, in the Community Room.

The play is based on the works of Southern writers including Kay Byer, Lee Smith, Allan Gurganus, and others. Musical accompaniment is by Jeff Sebens on hammered  dulcimer.

Excerpts will include “Christmas on Sugar Fork” from Lee Smith’s novel Fair and Tender Ladies, “The Christmas Spectacle” from Allan Gurganus’s Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells it All, and some of Truman Capote’s “Christmas Memories.” These stories are woven into Bates Smith’s own comical, often frustrating, search for the ‘true spirit of Christmas,’ with the play closing memorably with a Kay Byer poem: a pregnant mountain woman reflects on the Mary story from the Bible.

Bates Smith, who lives in Haywood County, is noted for her adaptation and Off-Broadway performance of “Ivy Rowe” from Lee Smith’s Fair and Tender Ladies, a show in its 21st year of touring. A Southeastern Theatre “Best Actress” award winner, Bates Smith has recently played featured roles in regional productions of “Wit,” “Hamlet” and “Doubt.”  

The actress returns to Sylva after her 2007 performance of a play based on Lee Smith’s On Agate Hill, which she performed as part of that year’s Great Smoky Mountains Book Fair, a major fund-raising event for the then-proposed new Jackson County Public Library. Bates Smith brings her support of the endeavor full circle when she returns to perform in the newly renovated space in the Jackson County Public Library Complex.

Visit for more information about the actress.

This free performance is sponsored by the Friends of the Jackson County Public Library.


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