Barbara Bates Smith returns to HART
in her acclaimed one-woman show


April 11 at 7:30 pm and April 12 at 2:00 pm

The Performing Arts Center Main Stage

—from Lee Smith’s Fair and Tender Ladies

Originally co-adapted and directed by Mark Hunter, this spunky mountain woman’s story takes us in a flashback through a life of “livin’ on love.” With a sensuous nature and a flair for storytelling, Ivy paints a vivid picture of 20th Century revivals, mine disasters, rural electrification, the Depression, and three wars.

Theatrical excitement! A lifetime’s worth of sass, whoop, hurt, and reflection 

           —Off Broadway, Village Voice 


Both funny and heartbreaking—Variety  

A rare and heartfelt performance that pays tribute to the women of Appalachia, and to the heroism of strugglers everywhere. Herbert Mitgang of the New York Times

It was the #1 best-loved event of the festival! It was magic. —Silas House

Barbara IS Ivy Rowe! I am her most avid fan, and Jeff is a genius as musical accompanist. —Lee Smith

“I used to be a scandal… Now I’m an institution.” This is my slogan for my 30th year of performing  “Ivy Rowe.” It was about 700 times a decade ago—now I’ve lost count. Lee Smith has asked, “Don’t you ever get tired of doing this?” No. Never. Beginning in Tampa, on to New York, and Edinburgh, & all over, it’s been a thrill each time. Its special magic both grounds and uplifts me; if I miss too many months, I get restless. And in hard times I remember Ivy’s advice: “You gotta keep on keepin’ on.” 

Ivy Rowe, the feisty born-with-the century mountain woman, is probably Lee Smith’s most beloved character, drawn from her most beloved book. (Lee knows of at least eleven babies  named “Ivy.”) We relish Ivy’s stand against the coal company’s bulldozer, defending her home place.

 “When you’re ruint, like I am, it frees you up somehow!” Ivy declares. Publisher’s Weekly has called her a woman of bewitching appeal and endearing faults: bright, with a poet’s eye and soul; spunky, impetuous, sensual and proud…


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