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“Deck the Halls, Southern Style” comes to Jonesborough’

Actress Barbara Bates Smith


On Friday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. “ Deck the Halls, Southern Style,” adapted from the works of Lee Smith, Allan Gurganus, and Truman Capote, will be presented by actress Barbara Bates Smith and musical accompanist Jeff Sebens at the McKinney Center.

Tickets for the limited seating performance are $10 each. For more information,or to purchase tickets: Jonesborough Visitors’ Center (423) 753-1010 

From Lee Smith’s “Fair and Tender Ladies” there’s the fireside storytelling tradition of Old Christmas in the mountains, when the lady sisters tell “Ole Dry Fry” and “Whitebear Whittington.” Allan Gurganus’s “Oldest Living Confederate Widow” features “The Christmas Spectacle” when many a teetotaling Baptist got knee-walking drunk . . . accidentally, but the pageant turned more poignant than ever.  Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” issues a heart-warming invitation to “Imagine a morning in late November in a country town in Alabama…”  His 60-something-year-old cousin exclaims “Oh my, Buddy, it’s fruitcake weather!” And their escapades unfold to the delight of us all.

Actress Smith, noted for her Off-Broadway adaptation and performance of “Ivy Rowe” from Lee Smith’s “Fair and Tender Ladies,” has been touring for 27 years with the works of Lee Smith. Jeff Sebens accompanies her shows with a variety of hammered dulcimer, lap dulcimer, guitar, and banjo music. “Vivid storytelling by Barbara Bates Smith and idyllic music by Jeff Sebens,” from the Triangle’s “Independent Weekly” review, has become a trademark of this Smith-Sebens duo.

“Our Own Stories” workshops round out Smith’s repertoire. Some of her favorite roles in regional theater have been in “Wit,” “Doubt,” “Hamlet,” “August: Osage County.” “Go, Granny D!” celebrating the crusader who at age 90 walked across the U.S. for election reform, is currently a timely and popular touring show for the duo. 

More information is on the website: