An afternoon of theater

There are two important things to know about me–I am very politically passionate, and I also love theater. Although these two things don’t always coincide, I have grown up with deep respects for the theater, and deep questions about our government. They are not synonymous but are two of my strongest interests. Another very strong interest of mine is spending time with my family, especially since so many beloved members live nearby. It was an incredibly lucky Sunday afternoon for me that I got to combine my love for family, politics, and the theater into an incredible experience at the North Carolina Stage Company. My grandmother invited me to go with her to see their latest contribution to the Asheville theater scene–a one-woman show titled “Go, Granny, Go”, a production in the company’s Catalist Series. The show is about Doris “Granny D” Haddock–a 90-year old woman that walked across the United States to petition and rally for electoral reform. A very charismatic and spunky woman, she charged forward with her goal to create a fair democracy for our country.

I have to say that I greatly enjoyed this performance. It was my first time at the North Carolina Stage Company’s theater, and I enjoyed its cozy and intimate seating. The show’s performers, Barbara Bates Smith and Jeff Sebens, capture your attention the moment they appear on stage–their natural chemistry sets the tone for an enjoyable, fast paced performance about an incredible woman.

Bates Smith and Sebens created the show after reading two memoirs about the famous “Granny D” and her quest. Bates Smith does a great portion of the performing, and her New Hampshire accent is quite good. Sebens is an excellent musician and creates a pleasant soundtrack throughout the show. You feel very connected to “Granny D” and find yourself cheering her on for success, which could only be done through strong performances from both Bates Smith and Sebens. Although the stage’s set and lighting are quite ordinary, the true value of the show comes from the passion that both these people share for the “Granny D” legend. You can tell that they both respect this woman immensely, and want to honor her through this show. Bates Smith’s performances of “Granny D”‘s speeches on college campuses, rodeos, and the Capital building make your heart stop and your brain go into overdrive–what did this 90-year old woman grasp that so many politicians today cannot understand?

This show will make you think, laugh, and beg for more. Bates Smith is a natural storyteller and it through her and Sebens’s appreciation for such an amazing woman that the story of “Granny D” comes to life. I encourage everyone to make the journey to the North Carolina Stage Company to see this great show. They have three more performances: January 18th-20th. You can get tickets by visiting their web site, calling the theater, or going to the theater. It doesn’t matter how you get the tickets–you just HAVE to get them.

It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon with my grandmother–an incredible woman, herself. It is through inspirations like “Granny D”, my own grandmother, Smith Bates, and other motivational women that remind us all that you are never too old to raise a little hell.


My beautiful grandmother and her pin from the show

3 thoughts on “An afternoon of theater

  1. Michelle! I am thrilled to pieces with this response to GO, GRANNY, GO!
    What an inspiration for next weekend! Thanks so much. Barbara

  2. This is definitely an excellent and inspirational review of a show that will ashuredly move you in all the ways decribed. Go see it!!!

  3. Barbara Bates Smith will join Stephanie Biziewski and the staff of the AFM News Hour for a segment on this evening’s program, Thursday 1/17, 7-8pm. Barbara will be talking about the feisty characters she’s portrayed and why Granny D. was important for her to produce. She’ll also perform a scene from the play.
    To tune in for the live broadcast, visit the Asheville Free Media website:, Click on “Hi-Fi” just to to the right of “Listen Live.”
    Can’t listen tonight? Check out the archive that’ll be available for one week, from Friday 1/18 through Thursday 1/24. Just follow this link:
    Enjoy more of Barbara and Granny D.!

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