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King University News :: Award Winning Actress Barbara Bates Smith to Present "The Happy Memories Club" at King College

Winner of the 2003 Southeastern Theatre Best Actress Award for her role in Eleemosynary, Barbara Bates Smith will take some of North Carolina's finest literature and turn it into content for her one-woman show, The Happy Memories Club, at King College on Monday, April 18.

Smith received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alabama, and did post-graduate work at the University of South Florida. She has extensive theatrical experience, including her Off-Broadway performance of Ivy Rowe, from Lee Smith's Fair and Tender Ladies. This role led to her extensive touring of best-selling author and Grundy, Va., native Lee Smith's works.

Practicing what she preaches in Our Own Stories workshops, Smith tells her own story in an original piece, The C-Word: Her Own Cancer Story. In a related public service program, she pairs with an oncologist in an interactive format: A Doctor-Patient Dialogue on Cancer. Other original pieces for touring are Confessions of a Clergy Wife, Once Upon a Stage, and My Own Christmas Story- with Apologies to Norman Rockwell.

Featured in four Southeastern productions of Wit, Smith was also in the world premier of Horton Foote's Talking Pictures, at the Asolo Theatre in Florida. Other notable roles have been in Hamlet, Doubt, Three Tall Women, and Driving Miss Daisy.

Bringing these experiences together, Smith will perform a one-act play based on Lee Smith's acclaimed short story The Happy Memories Club, reflecting upon the critical business of paying attention to our own life stories.

We are excited to have Barbara perform here at King College, said Dale Brown, director of the Buechner Institute at King College. In preparation for her visit, we will be circulating copies of the Lee Smith short story ‘Happy Memories Club.' Barbara's stage performance of the story will give us new ways to think about what we have read, and her discussion of the story will focus on why such stories really matter. This will be the culminating Buechner Institute event of the semester. We are privileged to have her with us. This should be a wonderful opportunity for the campus and the community.

Copies of The Happy Memories Club will be available for download on by April 1.

Barbara Bates Smith will give one performance of The Happy Memories Club in the King College Fine Arts Theatre at 7 p.m. on April 18. The event is open to the public and free to attend. For more information, contact Dale Brown at 423.652.4156 or visit