Off-Broadway & Touring

Barbara's Off-Broadway performance of "Ivy Rowe" from Lee Smith's Fair and Tender Ladies (co-adapted and directed by Mark Hunter) has led to her extensive touring of Lee Smith's works. "Go, Granny D!" tours nationwide celebrating this crusader's trek across the U.S. for election reform. Barbara's monologue "Confessions of a Clergy Wife" plus "Our Own Stories" workshops round out her touring repertoire. Jeff Sebens is creating Videos of selected shows; links are on the website Video page.


"MUCH ADO ABOUT 90: Scripts & Scraps from an Actor's Life" recently published (Amazon)

"STORY CIRCLES:" a How-to-Handbook for both circles & workshops (Amazon)

With musical accompaniment by Jeff Sebens, and minimal staging requirements,

productions play at libraries, colleges, conferences,

as well as in theaters.

"Our Own Stories" Workshops, plus Telling Her Own Stories

Armed with a course in Autobiographic Storytelling from noted monologist Spalding Gray, plus her own repertoire of first-person shows as a springboard, Barbara has found great joy in getting other people's stories. Led by "Wit" playwright Margaret Edson into writing "The C-Word: Her Own Cancer Story," she has added "Confessions of a Clergy Wife" to her touring repetoire. Scroll down (below), or click on headings (above) to see more details about Workshops and Personal Monologues.


A Southeastern Theatre Conference ‘Best Actress’ award winner, she has enjoyed featured roles in regional productions (most recently of NC Stage's "4000 Miles") of "Wit," "August: Osage County," "Hamlet," "Doubt," "Three Tall Women," "Driving Miss Daisy," "Sister Mary Ignatius....," and Beckett's "Happy Days." At Florida’s Asolo Theatre, she was in the world premiere of Horton Foote's "Talking Pictures."

Other Past & Current Works

Barbara and Playmakers' Theater director Mark Hunter conceived and co-directed "Jazz, Jam, No Jive," an original play by and about Tampa's African-American teenagers, with music by Nat Adderley. Programs based on literary lives and works--”Making Literature Come Alive”--highlighted the years she headed Taproot Theater, an educational ensemble in Polk County, Florida. Recently she was active with Asheville's Haywood Street Congregation, a homeless ministry, where she was leader of her most diverse and dynamic Story Circle ever!

Barbara, recently widowed, lives in Columbia SC near her daughter Susan Sharpe (and Terry Sharpe). She leads a Story Circle at the UU Congregation, where she presented "Go, Granny D!," and premiered the video of "On Our Way."



Actors’ Equity, 1989-2016


(The original "Ivy Rowe" was co-adapted and directed by Mark Hunter.)

IVY ROWE (1-woman show, from Lee Smith novel, Fair and Tender Ladies), Provincetown Playhouse, ‘91

IVY ROWE (1-woman show, from Lee Smith novel, Fair and Tender Ladies), 45th St. Theatre, ‘90

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

IVY ROWE (1-woman show, from Lee Smith novel, Fair and Tender Ladies), 3-week run, ’93

Regional Theater (a partial list of leading roles)

4000 MILES, North Carolina Stage Co., Vera

TALKING PICTURES (Horton Foote Premiere), Mrs. Jackson, Asolo Theatre, Sarasota FL, ‘90

DRIVING MISS DAISY, directed by John Gulley (faculty UNC-G), Cape May Stage NJ, ‘94

WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, Martha, Playmakers, Tampa FL, with Paul Massie‘88

WIT, guest artist, Pied Piper Players, Lakeland FL; Performing Arts Center, Tampa;

Haywood Arts Regional Theatre, Waynesville NC (2001-2003)

SISTER MARY IGNATIUS... Playmakers, Tampa; Pied Piper Players, Lakeland FL; HART, Waynesville NC

BED AMONG THE LENTILS (by Alan Bennett)... assisted by Paul Hughes, Lakeland Fl Museum of Art

HAPPY DAYS, Samuel Beckett, directed by Steve Lloyd, Haywood Arts Regional Theatre

ELEEMOSYNARY, Southeastern Theatre Conference Best Actress award, 2003

HAMLET, directed by Steve Lloyd, 2009-2010, Haywood Arts Regional Theatre, Waynesville NC;

Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville NC

DOUBT, directed by Suzanne Tinsley, HART, Waynesville NC, 2009-2010

THREE TALL WOMEN, directed by Suzanne Tinsley, HART, Waynesville NC, 2011

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, directed by Steve Lloyd, HART, Waynesville NC, 2013


Selected Sampling from Schools, Conferences, Retreats, Retirement Centers

Story Circle Leader, Haywood Street Congregation, Asheville, 3 years running

Continuing Educationn Institute Workshop, Anna Maria FL, Gloria Steinem a participant

Schools: Cleveland Court Elem., Harrison Performing Arts High School, Polk County FL;

Handley High School, Winchester VA; Amery High School, Amery, Wisconsin;

West Wilkes High School, Wilkesboro NC

Hollins College, Lifelong Learning Week (with Lee Smith) in Cashiers NC

Center for Life Enrichment, Highlands NC

Florida Women's Alliance retreat, with 55 members

Friends of the Library, Elkin NC

Writers’ Guild, St. Croix Arts Center, Taylors Falls, Minnesota

Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem NC

Handley Library, Winchester VA

NCCAT: NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching, Cullowhee NC

Wintergreen Summer Festival, Wintergreen VA

Greenbrier Valley Theater, Lewisburg, WV

Senior Resource Center, Haywood County NC, 2 series of workshops

King College, Bristol TN

Emory and Henry College, Emory VA

Ongoing series at Haywood Street Congregation, Asheville NC



Founder/ Artistic Director, Taproot Theatre, educational touring ensemble, Lakeland FL, '76-'81

Artistic Associate, Playmakers, professional theatre company, Tampa FL, '88-'89

Co-director: JAZZ, JAM, NO JIVE, African- American teenagers, original musical production, Tampa '88

Playwright-in-Residence: Harrison Performing Arts High School, Lakeland FL '91

University of Texas, Austin- with Suzan Zeder, Chair, New Play Development, ‘94; David Kranes, consultant

Florida Humanities Council: Tour as performer, scholar; Chatauqua director; Teacher Institute workshop leader


Artist-in-the-Schools: Polk and Hillsborough Counties FL,'82-'88- Performances, Workshops;

Consultant, Language Arts, Polk County Schools: Workshops, Inservice Training for teachers

Workshop Instructor: NC Center for Advancement of Teaching; Florida public schools, Playmakers

Our Own Stories workshop leader at schools, conferences, retreats, retirement centers

Community Projects & Special Groups

Story Circle leader and greeter at Haywood Street Congregation, a homeless ministry in Asheville NC

Conceived and directed "ACCESS" for WheelHouse, with Cerebral Palsy Adults

Leader, Communication Workshop, Florida Disabilities Conference

Worked extensively with the Deaf, American Sign Language in performance in the schools and the community

AIDS Benefits, performed on five different occasions

American Cancer Society Benefits, “The C-Word”

Child Advocacy benefits with ELLEN FOSTER

Conceived, developed and co-directed JAZZ, JAM, NO JIVE, inner city African-American youth, Tampa '88

Hosted “People & Their Stories” series at local church and local bookstore

Folksinger, guitar player: Toured in the 70’s with Lydia & the Pinkhams


BA degree, University of Alabama

Phi Beta Kappa; Who's Who, and Mortar Board, Honoraries,

16 hours postgraduate work, University of South Florida, Special Education, Gifted

Summer ‘Intensive’ Workshop with Shakespeare & Company, Boston (Wellesley)

Autobiographic Storytelling Workshop (13 selected participants): Spalding Gray, leader, Esalin Institute CA,'92


IVY ROWE, from the Lee Smith novel, FAIR AND TENDER LADIES

ON AGATE HILL, from the Lee Smith novel

THE CHRISTMAS LETTERS, from the Lee Smith novella

B. SMITH DOES LEE SMITH: a compilation of Lee Smith excerpts)

THE HAPPY MEMORIES CLUB, from the Lee Smith short story

IVY, ALICE, & EVALINA: 3 Lee Smith Voices

CIVIL WAR CAMEOS from works of Lee Smith, Allan Gurganus, Ron Rash

DECK THE HALLS, SOUTHERN STYLE from works of Lee Smith, Allan Gurganus, Truman Capote

A RASH OF STORIES from those of Ron Rash

THESE NORTH CAROLINA WRITERS! a sampler, with music & anecdotes

THIS AIN'T YOUR MAMA'S TEA TIME: a sampler from NC stories

ELLEN FOSTER, from the Kaye Gibbons novel

BUCK-OS & LADY MISSES, a Fred Chappell sampler

ANTONIA: THE STORY WITH SIGNS, (American Sign Language), from the Willa Cather novel

For Taproot Theatre in-the-Schools:

Stages through the Ages

Canterbury Tales

This is your Life, William Shakespeare!

Out of Darkness (Black Writers)

If You Ask Me (Student writings)

One-woman shows by adapter, actress:

Molly Bloom (from Joyce's ULYSSES)

E. Dickinson (from her letters and poems)

A Portrait of Virginia Woolf

Helen Keller,Anne Sullivan: Beyond the Miracle

Original Monologues for Touring:

The C-Word: Her Own Cancer Story

Confessions of a Clergy Wife

Once Upon a Stage: Excerpts & Anecdotes

My own Christmas Story- with apologies to Norman Rockwell

Late Blooming, with audience participation