Actress Barbara Bates Smith will be visiting Elkin next week with a performance of “A Rash of Stories,” adapted from the short stories of North Carolina author Ron Rash. Her performance, accompanied by musician Jeff Sebens, will be on May 12 at 7 p.m. at Parkwood Place, 601 Johnson Ridge Road in Elkin. The performance is free and open to the public. Smith also will speak at the Elkin Public Library at 2:15 p.m. on May 12.
The varied selections — humorous and tender as well as suspenseful — have been adapted by Smith from Rash’s short stories “Lincolnites,” “Burning Bright,” “Casualties and Survivors,” and “The Night the New Jesus Fell to Earth.”
Based at Western Carolina University, Rash has won the Frank O’Connor International Award, two O’Henry prizes, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award for his stories. Two of his novels have been made into films — “The World Made Straight,” and his New York Times bestseller “Serena.”
Smith, noted for her Off-Broadway adaptation and performance of “Ivy Rowe” from Lee Smith’s “Fair and Tender Ladies,” has been touring for 25 years with the works of Lee Smith. Sebens accompanies her shows with a variety of hammered dulcimer, lap dulcimer, guitar, and banjo music.
“Vivid storytelling by Barbara Bates Smith and idyllic music by Jeff Sebens,” a review from the Triangle’s Independent Weekly, has become a trademark of this Smith-Sebens duo.
“Our Own Stories” workshops round out her repertoire. Some of Smith’s favorite roles in regional theater have been in “Wit,” “Doubt,” “Hamlet,” “August: Osage County,” and most recently “4000 Miles” at Asheville’s NC Stage Company. “Go, Granny D!” celebrating the crusader who at age 90 walked across the U.S. for election reform, is another popular touring show.
More information is on the website: www.barbarabatessmith.com
Rash will make an appearance in Elkin on May 26 with a reading and book signing at the library at 7 p.m.