One-Acts by "Tree Grows in Brooklyn" Author Betty Smith to Premiere in, Yes, Brooklyn, Nov. 13-22 | Playbill

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News One-Acts by "Tree Grows in Brooklyn" Author Betty Smith to Premiere in, Yes, Brooklyn, Nov. 13-22 Betty Smith is known almost exclusively for one book, the coming of age novel "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," and for the film and Broadway musical it inspired. But Smith was also a playwright. The Spartan Theatre will present three of her one-acts in an evening titled "Betty Smith in One Act," Nov. 13-22.

The plays will be staged at The Williamsburg Art And Historical Center, not far from where Smith (1896-1972) grew up. Prior to publishing "Tree" in 1943, Smith became one of the first woman graduates of the Yale School of Drama. The works presented by Spartan indicate that she possessed a whimsical vision. Bird, from 1937, tells of a conservative politician who hires a turkey buzzard to fly above his head while he's giving a campaign speech, hoping the crowds will mistake the creature for an eagle. Lawyer Lincoln, from 1939, has the future president work out a marriage proposal between two lovers who aren't capable of executing the transaction themselves. Finally, Vine Leaves, from 1937, concerns a young real estate clerk whose bosses want to fire him when they discover he has published love poems. The cast includes Robert Casey, Tracee Chimo, Robert Grady, Robert Kya Hill, Sandy Lelievre, Claire McClanahan and Shannon Patterson. The plays are directed by Rebecca Poole and Robert Grady.  The Spartan Theatre was founded in 2000. 

The Williamsburg Art and Historical Center is located at 135 Broadway in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Tickets are $15 ($8 for students and seniors) and are available by calling SmartTix at (212) 868-4444 or logging onto their web site at

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, the musical, is currently enjoying a revival at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut.

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