Songwriter Tom Godleski   Photo: Antonia Eden

Songwriter Tom Godleski

NC Stage welcomes two dynamic performers this January with some inspiring, heartwarming, and local stories.

Barbara Bates Smith, noted for her Off-Broadway adaptation and performance of “Ivy Rowe” from Lee Smith’s Fair and Tender Ladies, will be performing her new play, “Go, Granny, Go,” the touring show highlighting the story of Doris “Granny D” Haddock.

“Granny D,” a ninety-year-old in 2000, was considered a national heroine as she completed a walk from Los Angeles to Washington DC to bring attention to campaign finance reform. Her memoir, “Granny D”, from which Smith adapted the play, was praised by supporters John McCain, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Moyers.

“Granny D” used to claim, “You’re never too old to raise a little hell,” and continued bipartisan election reform efforts, including a countrywide voter registration drive before her death in 2010, providing interesting encounters as she came through Asheville.

Barbara Bates Smith, along with musical accompanist, Jeff Sebens, will bring “Go, Granny, Go” to NC Stage as part of its Catalyst Series the weekends of January 11-13, and 18-20.

Songwriter Tom Godleski is best-known for his band Buncombe Turnpike, but now the stories he heard as a child are part of the new musical play, Fresh Preserves, A wonderful blend of mountain storytelling and songwriting, and a true expression of Southern Appalachian culture.

“My Uncle Robert Fowler was my biggest influence as a storyteller,” says Godleski. “He passed away in August of 2008, he was 94 years old. He had dementia at the end of his life, and he couldn’t remember his stories. Then it became more important for me to write this play, to keep the stories alive.”

Fresh Preserves won the 2009 Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre’s Annual Scriptfest and plays as part of the NC Stage Catalyst Series January 23 through January 27.

If You Go: Go, Granny, Go,  January 11-13, and 18-20. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Fresh Preserves, January 23 through the 27 with shows Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are available through North Carolina Stage Company, at (828) 239-0263, or by visiting the theatre at 15 Stage Lane in Asheville.

More information about showtimes and ticket prices at www.ncstage.org