Barbara Bates Smith probably isn’t feeling any butterflies relating to her upcoming theatrical performance at N.C. Stage Company, having already embodied gutsy mountain woman Ivy Rowe more than 700 times over the past 25 years. Rowe, the protagonist in Lee Smith’s bestselling novel Fair and Tender Ladies, brings an Appalachian flair to her exploits, which are told through a series of letters and include a standoff with a coal company bulldozer. Not unlike the active character she portrays, Barbara volunteers at Haywood Street Congregation — “a service ministry where both homeless and housed enjoy food and fellowship” — which will receive proceeds from this performance. Ivy Rowe takes the stage on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 2, at 3 p.m. $12-$24. ncstage.org. Photo courtesy of Barbara Bates Smith
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