'On Agate Hill' one-woman show March 9 at library

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 6, 2009

On Monday, March 9, at 7 p.m., “On Agate Hill,” the one-woman play adapted from the new Lee Smith novel, will be presented by the Friends of Rowan Public Library at their annual meeting at Rowan Public Library. The program is free and open to the public.
Barbara Bates Smith, noted for her adaptation and off-Broadway performance of Ivy Rowe from Lee Smith’s “Fair and Tender Ladies,” stars in “On Agate Hill.” Musical accompaniment is by Jeff Sebens.
“The two Smiths seem made for each other,” cites the Asheville Citizen-Times. “Barbara is a marvel as she seamlessly slips from character to character. But mostly she is our heroine Molly, moving from a wrecked plantation to a range of sites in over a half-century’s time. The talented vocal, banjo and hammer dulcimer score by Jeff Sebens aids in conveying the touching and poignant story.”
On Agate Hill’s heroine, Molly Petree, orphaned by the Civil War, is “a spitfire and a burden” who risks everything to hold on to her own nature and to true love. Like a ballad of the old South, Molly’s tale resonates with passion, humor and drama.
Other literary adaptations in Barbara Smith’s touring repertoire are “B. Smith Does Lee Smith,” a Lee Smith sampler, “Ellen Foster” from the Kaye Gibbons novel and a Fred Chappell sampler.
Winner of the 2003 Southeastern Theatre Conference Best Actress award, Barbara Smith was in the world premiere of Horton Foote’s “Talking Pictures” at Florida’s Asolo Theater, and has been featured in four Southeastern productions of Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize play, “WIT.”
Prize-winning North Carolina novelist Lee Smith has written 12 novels, including the New York Times bestseller “The Last Girls,” the ever-popular “Fair and Tender Ladies” and “Oral History” and three collections of short stories. Literary awards for Lee Smith have included the Lila Wallace/Readers’ Digest Award, the Southern Book Critics Circle Award and the Fiction Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Refreshments will be served following the performance.
For more information, call 704-216-8230.
Talking about food
Southern food writers, cookbook authors and culinary instructors will share stories and insights into food traditions of the South Feb. 15 in Chapel Hill. The public is invited.
The North Carolina Writers’ Network is sponsoring the event, which will include live bluegrass music and Southern dishes. Tickets are $50, with proceeds going to support the work of the Writers’ Network.
The panel discussion will be 5-7 p.m. at the Horace Williams House, 610 Rosemary St. Speakers include: John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed, authors of “Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue”; Bill Smith, head chef at Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill and author of “Seasoned in the South”; Debbie Moose, former News & Observer food editor (and Salisbury Post employee) and author of “Wings: More Than 50 High-Flying Recipes for America’s Favorite Snack”; Marcie Cohen Ferris, author of “Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South”; and Sheri Castle, culinary instructor and contributor to “Cornbread Nation 3.”
The authors will be available to sign books sold at the event.
Tickets are available by visiting the Writers’ Network at http://www.ncwriters.org/. Registration is required.
Discounted annual membership rates are available at the event to first-time NCWN members for $55, or $20 off the regular rate.