Photo by Ashley Eil

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Jane Holding

Jane Holding grew up in Smithfield, a small town in Eastern North Carolina. She left for school in the North in 1969, when the world felt on fire and when it still somehow seemed possible to learn everything ever written down. Many books later, she returned to North Carolina in 1980 to garden and raise two sons, David and Robert. She has lived in the same house in Chapel Hill since 1989, where friends and family have found good food and good talk at her table.

Jane and her longtime friend Allan Gurganus adapted his famed novel Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All for a one-woman stage show and hit country roads in North and South Carolina with the set in the back of a station wagon and with Jane performing as Lucy Marsden. Later, they worked with Archipelago Cine to make an award-winning short film of the Gurganus story “It Had Wings” with Jane in the lead role. She has adapted and performed several other of her friend’s works of fiction.

Jane has appeared onstage with many local theater companies, including ManBitesDog, Little Green Pig, Archipelago, CommonGround, Theater of the American South, and others. She spoke as the soprano Andrea Moore’s companion in the several iterations, both staged and recorded, of the song cycle Family Secrets. She is a founding member of the Hillsborough Amateur Theatrical Society and with this congregation of friends has contributed to many readings and played parts on home stages ranging from Big Mama to Birdie to School Mistress Anna Burwell to Lady Bracknell.

Ten Things I Can’t Do Without

  1. Memory
  2. Light through leaves
  3. Breath
  4. Solitude
  5. Company
  6. Books
  7. Oysters
  8. Rolling pin
  9. Jack Daniel’s
  10. Ice