PARIS — On Sept. 17-19, Celebration Barn Theater will present “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington,” a play by Maine playwright Linda Britt that offers an intimate look at the life and times of Margaret Chase Smith. It is told in her own words and in the words of the people closest to her.

Sally Jones of Norway, director and performer for the Oxford Hills Music and Performing Arts Association, portrays Maine’s first woman senator.

“Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington” tells of Smith’s journey from humble beginnings in Skowhegan, Maine, to a position of power and respect as a U.S. senator. Smith was the first woman elected to both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the first woman to have her name placed in nomination for president of the United States.

The one-woman play begins in the Maine senator’s girlhood years when she was captain of her high school’s state champion basketball team and ends with her death in 1995 at age 97.

Highlighted is Smith’s well-known “Declaration of Conscience” speech denouncing the excesses of Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s anti-Communist crusade. That speech delivered on the Senate floor on June 1, 1950, brought Smith national attention and demonstrated her courage and independence, as well as her condemnation of bigotry.

Jones, as Smith, relates personal anecdotes and recites from the “Declaration of Conscience” speech, sharing both private and public moments with the audience.

“After the performance I return and talk to the audience still in the character as the senator,” said Jones. “I invite anyone to tell me about a time ‘we’ had met. Those stories are funny and often times very moving.”

“The show is so intimate and engaging. Sally Jones’ performance is magical. Audience members will leave with the sense they’ve just spent an absolutely delightful evening with the senator herself,” said Celebration Barn Executive Director Amanda Huotari.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors (63+), and $8 for students/children. Call 743-8452. Celebration Barn Theater is at 190 Stock Farm Road. For more information, visit www.

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