Currently touring nationwide, off-Broadway actress Barbara Bates Smith and musician Jeff Sebens bring the spirit and message of Doris “Granny D” Haddock back to Little Rock in “Go, Granny D!”
One Night Only!
Monday, February 24
$10 General Admission
Approx 50min run-time with a post-performance Q&A.
7:30 pm Curtain Time
The Box Office (and the theater) opens one hour prior to curtain.
The House opens 30 minutes prior to curtain.
Touting “You’re never too old to raise a little hell,” the 90-year-old Doris “Granny D” Haddock in 2000 blazed a 3200-mile trail across America for campaign finance reform, precipitating the passage of the McCain-Feingold Act. She continued her bipartisan reform efforts in countrywide voter registration drives, issuing her final challenge in 2010 at age 100: “Democracy is a running game. You huddle and you go back in. You keep going.”
Barbara Bates Smith, noted for her Off-Broadway adaptation and performance of “Ivy Rowe” from Lee Smith’s Fair and Tender Ladies, has toured for over twenty years with the works of Lee Smith. She has been active in the NAACP’s Moral Monday reform movement in North Carolina, even as an arrestee, in the spirit of Granny D’s efforts to reclaim our democracy. For a decade, Jeff Sebens has accompanied her shows with a variety of hammered dulcimer, lap dulcimer, guitar, and banjo music.
Drawing from crusader Granny D’s own memoirs, their show, “Go, Granny D!” recreates her adventurous, cross-country trek for election reform, which even made a stop in Little Rock, AR, before traveling on to Memphis, TN and eventually on to Washington, D.C. From a pulpit where Dr. Martin Luther King preached in the 1960s, the closing remarks of her Sunday, August 22, 1999 address at Little Rock’s First Baptist Church included the lines, “We are walking together on the high road of history. We are on even ground, now, because so many sacrifices have been made behind us. We have nothing to lose that we care about, and our shared freedom to gain.” Read the full address.
For Jeff Sebens, TWT was a perfect fit for their touring production. “I came across [The Weekend Theater] website and was impressed by the shows you are doing and the theme of social change that underlies them,” said Jeff. “Actress Barbara Bates Smith and I, as musician/manager, have toured for a decade professionally. Now, committed to the cause of election reform and voting rights, as was Doris “Granny D” Haddock (who walked across the U.S. for such reform), we offer ‘Go, Granny D!’ wherever useful.“
“We’re thrilled to present ‘Go, Granny D!’ to Central Arkansas, as it makes its way across the country,” says The Weekend Theater Executive Director, James Norris. “It’s in our mission as a theater to present works that get us thinking and feeling and talking about the important issues in our community and in our world — works that make us take action — and that’s exactly what Granny D was doing with her walk.”
What People Are Saying…
Granny D’s original press secretary, Maude Salinger, proclaimed, “This fabulous show based on Granny D’s memoirs brings her to life!”
Blog reviewer Michelle Grasty wrote, “This show will make you laugh and think and beg for more.”
“This show totally rocks!” said Quaker Pastor Philip Raines of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
James A. Rousmaniere Jr., Editor and President, The Keene (NH) Sentinel said, “The salute to Granny D was truly inspiring—so imaginative and authentic. I felt I was in my office with Doris, talking over itineraries before her great walk!”