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King University News :: Barter Theatre Resident Actor to Speak at King College

Mary Lucy Bivins, member of the Barter Theatre’s Resident Acting Company, will be the third speaker in King College’s History and Political Science Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) project, Communicating in the History and Political Science Workplace.  Bivins will discuss “Voice and Stage: Lessons for History and Political Science Majors from the Theatre,” on Monday, Nov. 12 at 12:30 p.m. in Sells Hall room 101 on King’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn.  Bivins has performed in or directed more than sixty productions in eight seasons at the Barter Theatre. 

“The History and Political Science QEP project is a new initiative for King,” said Dr. Martin Dotterweich, associate professor of History.  “The series will engage students in learning about communication skills through history and political science.  Most of our QEP speakers work in more conventional areas for History and Political Science majors, so we’re excited to hear from a History major who has accomplished so much in Theatre.  In particular, our students will benefit from her insights into oral communication.”

Bivins began acting at Spartanburg High School, where she became a member of the National Thespian Society.  She continued her love of acting throughout undergraduate school at Salem College in Winston-Salem, N.C, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in History.  Although her degree was in History rather than Theatre, Bivins has been surprised at how much her History degree would benefit her throughout her stage work.  For two summers during undergraduate years, she apprenticed and interned at the Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, Fla.  It was this experience that cinched her love of and preference for regional and repertory theatre.

After her sons were born, she earned a graduate degree in Theatre from Wake Forest in 1985 where she stayed on to direct and teach acting for nearly a decade.  Her sons were also students in her after-school acting classes at the Winston-Salem Little Theatre for several years. This led to the three of them performing with the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival for two seasons, where Bivins earned membership in the Actor’s Equity Association, the union for professional actors.  At this time, she was also directing two productions a year at her alma mater, Salem College.  

Bivins spent over a decade performing with Charlotte Repertory Theatre and the Blowing Rock Stage Company.  Other regional stage credits include many theatres from New Hampshire to Florida.  She became a member of the Screen Actors Guild following her appearance in the feature film, “The Road to Wellville.”  Screen credits include film and television in which she had the privilege of acting alongside some of her favorite actors, including Kathryn Hepburn, Sir Anthony Hopkins, James Earl Jones, Henry Winkler, Naomi Watts, James Van Der Beek, John Leguizamo, Forest Whitaker, Donnie Wahlberg, Matthew Modine, and Seth Green to name a few..  

Mary Lucy Bivins will speak at King on Nov. 12 at 12:30 p.m. in Sells Hall room 101 on King’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn.  The event is open to the public.  For more information, contact Dr. Martin Dotterweich at 423.652.4835 or