Civil War stories to come to life on stage on Sept. 27

Posted on 13 September 2012 by

Storyteller Barbara Bates-Smith will bring the one-woman play “Agate Hill to Appomattox” to the stage at Tusculum College at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Behan Arena Theatre.

Stories from the Civil War period will be presented in a unique mix of theatre, music and history on Thursday, Sept. 27, at Tusculum College with the presentation of “Agate Hill to Appomattox.”

The one-woman play by storyteller Barbara Bates-Smith will begin at 7 p.m. in the Behan Arena Theatre in the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building (lower level side entrance). The presentation is the second event of Tusculum College Arts Outreach’s Acts, Arts, Academia 2012-13 performance and lecture series.

In “Agate Hill to Appomattox” Bates-Smith vividly tells home-front tales from a variety of perspectives in adaptations of works by best-selling authors Lee Smith, Ron Rash and Allan Gurganus. The performance includes scenes of Smith’s plucky young girl orphaned by the war, Rash’s brave young “Lincolnite” wife under threat in Confederate territory and Allan Gurganus’ “Oldest Living Confederate Widow,” highlighting episodes surrounding Appomattox, General Robert E. Lee, and President Abraham Lincoln.

Bates-Smith will be accompanied by musician Jeff Sebens on traditional instruments such as the dulcimer and banjo. Sebens is also a respected craftsman of musical instruments such as the lap dulcimers, hammered dulcimer and mandolins.

Noted for her off-Broadway performance of “Ivy Rowe,” from Smith’s novel “Fair and Tender Ladies,” Bates-Smith also tours with other Lee Smith shows, original monologues, and “Our Own Stories” workshops that help teach others how to tell their own stories.

A Southeastern Theatre Conference Best Actress award winner, Bates-Smith has enjoyed featured roles in regional productions of “Wit,” “Hamlet,” “Doubt,” “Three Tall Women,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Sister Mary Ignatius” and Beckett’s “Happy Days.
Bates-Smith conceived and co-directed “Jazz, Jam, No Jive,” an original play by and about Tampa’s African-American teenagers. Programs based on literary lives and works highlighted the years she headed Taproot Theater, an educational ensemble in Florida.

Admission to the program is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 years of age or older and $5 for children 12 and under.

For more information, please contact Tusculum College Arts Outreach at 423.798.1620 or visit the website at

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