Back to HOME PAGE
BACK to Jennifer Barclay Main Page

Clearing Hedges is a one-woman show inspired by the struggles and achievements of the great athlete, Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Written and performed by Jennifer Barclay, the show had its premier at the International Theatre in Vienna, Austria.
Babe (1911-1956) was arguably the best all-around athlete of the century. Raised in poverty in Texas, Babe was a fierce competitor with a free-wheeling style who blazed a path for female athletes long before Title IX. She excelled at every sport she tried and was the only woman named Associated Press Athlete of the Year six times.
Before winning 17 consecutive golf tournaments (55 wins total) and cofounding the LPGA, the brash defiantly un-frilly jock took on many other sports: professional basketball (named a three-time All-American), track and field (winning three medals at the 1932 Olympics), bowling (an average of 170), tennis, diving, and billiards. She once won a national contest by throwing a baseball 296 feet in the air, and, during a pitching exhibition, she struck out the great Joe DiMaggio.
Babe possessed extraordinary physical coordination, a strong work ethic, and a remarkable spirit. She converted women's golf to an exciting power game. She also made it entertaining. In doing this, Babe led the way for other women's sports.
Her determined spirit also helped Babe through her fight against cancer. After her surgery, Babe countered the dire medical predictions that she would never walk again. True to her spirit, Babe proved them wrong in a grand style by coming back to win both the Serbin and National Women's Open Tennis Championships. This catapulted Babe into a new role as an inspiration to cancer patients everywhere.
Through multiple characters and fast-paced scenes, Barclay explores aspects of Babe's personality, as well as her complicated relationships with family, friends, competitors, and the press.
Barclay therefore broadens her focus on Babe beyond specific athletic interest and into an exploration of a fascinating and inspiring human being.

JENNIFER BARCLAY, a magna cum laude graduate of Northwestern University, has performed with Chicago theatres including The Court and the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. She has also worked regionally with theatres in Wisconsin, Maine, and New York. She has performed abroad with the International Theatre company of Vienna, Austria.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
"The inherent lesson of perseverance in following one's dream, combined with the engaging true story of an American heroine portrayed by a talented actor, make this play an outstanding art experience for adults and young adults."
Pam Kimmet, Head of Harley Lower School
Both Jennifer Barclay and Babe Didrikson Zaharias offer powerful examples of strong, intelligent, and independent women."
Joy Moss, Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Rochester
"Barclay is informed and interesting as both writer and performer. Students stand to gain great deal from contact with her."
Jay Stetzer, Board of Young Audiences of Rochester NY
"Clearing Hedges inspires on many levels. Certainly, the content of the story can inspire young people to reach for the unthinkable, to work hard, to be determined and go after
their dreams. The compelling spirit of the main character can and should influence, especially young women, to recognize their own competence. Historically, this play informs the audience of a period in history where female athletes were in the minority. All of these attributes will challenge students to question, to think and to discuss. A perfect curricular support or focus!"
Susan Cinquino, Director of the Children’s Center Brighton
"The students were clearly touched by (Babe's) inspiring story, and they expressed an interest in reading more about her. ...I am convinced that (Clearing Hedges) enriches the lives of those who see it."
Joy Moss, Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Rochester
"The production held me spellbound from start to finish. Barclay's talents would easily hold the attentions of even the most distractible junior high student."
Jay Stetzer, Board of Young Audiences of Rochester, NY
PERFORMANCES:

Jennifer tours Clearing Hedges around Chicago to junior high schools, high schools, libraries, recreation centers, nursing and retirement homes. Clearing Hedges is also available for national and international tours. To book a performance, please e-mail Jennifer or call
Barclay Studios Chicago (773) 580-8101.

RUNNING TIME: 45 minutes,
and can be tailored to fit into a class period
AUDIENCE: Anyone 12 or older
WORKSHOPS: If the organization so desires, after the performance
Ms. Barclay can lead workshops in acting,
writing, and adapting literature for the stage
CURRICULAR INTEGRATION:
History: Equal Rights then and now
Gender Equity (Including Title IX)
Influence of Family Values
Perseverance through adversity
The rewards of skill-drilling
FURTHER READING:
Babe, A Legend, Russell Freedman
Babe: The Life and Legend, Susan E. Cayleff
Whatta-Gal, William Oscar Johnson & Nancy Williamson
Copyright 2002 Barclay Studios. All rights reserved