Community and Business

Tickets are now available online for the 2019 Lees-McRae Summer Theatre series, which will kick-off on June 27 with performances of Mamma Mia!, From the Mountaintop: The Edgar Tufts Story, and Newsies.

Individual show tickets range in price, per person, from $38–43 for adults, to $18–20 for students and/or children. Season ticket prices, per person, range from $114 for premium seating to $99 for general seating.

Mamma Mia! will be the first show to debut June 27, 28, 29, and July 2 at 7 p.m. at the Lees-McRae Hayes Auditorium and Broyhill Theatre with additional shows on June 30 and July 2 and 3 at 2 p.m.

With Judy Craymer’s melding of iconic Swedish pop group, ABBA, and the enchanting tale of family and friendship on a Greek island paradise, Mamma Mia! is entertainment from beginning to end. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they had last visited 20 years ago. Popular songs including "Dancing Queen," "The Winner Takes It All," "Money, Money, Money," and "Take a Chance on Me" are all featured in this feel-good night of fun, laughter, and unforgettable music.

From The Mountaintop: The Edgar Tufts Story is next in line and features a production that celebrates local heritage. The show will premiere July 11 with additional performances July 12, 13, and 16 at 7 p.m. and afternoon shows July 14, 16, and 17 at 2 p.m.

What did Banner Elk, North Carolina, look like in the 1890s? With the vision of a young seminary student, one tiny town gained a church, a college, an orphanage, and a hospital. The musical, written by Janet Barton Speer, with songs and lyrics by John Thomas Oaks and Tommy Oaks, tells the story of Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Edgar Tufts.

Tufts first came to the region as a seminary student to organize a church, but his love and admiration for the mountain people called him back to an extraordinary life of service that forever changed the complexion of the area. With remarkable purpose, Tufts founded a number of institutions that continue to serve today: the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church, Lees-McRae College, Cannon Memorial Hospital, and Grandfather Home for Children.

In addition to the show this summer, the Town of Banner Elk and the institutions he founded will celebrate his life in a variety of ways. Learn more at bannerelk.com/heritage-celebration.

Newsies rounds out the season with performances July 30, 31, and August 1, 2, and 3 at 7 p.m. and August 3 and 4 at 2 p.m.

Based on the Disney film written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White, Disney’s Newsies is the Tony award-winning story of newsboys and girls at the turn of the century in New York City who fought the system and won. When titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, lead character Jack Kelly rallies his fellow newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what's right. Based on a true story, Newsies with extraordinary dancing, acting, and music will appeal to musical lovers everywhere.

The 2019 Summer Theatre season will also include performances of A Whale of a Tale, as part of the Theatre for Young Audiences. The show will take place on July 6, 20, 27, and August 3 at 10 a.m. in the Shelton Learning Commons.

A Whale of a Tale is the ingenious telling of the biblical story of Jonah. Composers and writers John Thomas Oaks and Tommy Oaks have taken their two-man show to venues across the country. The show captures children's imagination as two actors play all the parts and move with hilarity from a pirate's saloon to the ocean, to the belly of a fish and back.

Children can also become involved in the theatre arts through the Lees-McRae Creative and Performing Arts camp (CAPA) with sessions starting in June. For more information, get online to https://www.lmc.edu/community/summer-programs/capa-lmc.htm.

“In my years of directing Lees-McRae Summer Theatre, I can’t remember being this excited,” Artistic Director Janet Barton Speer said. “I look forward to working with our 100-plus-member company as we bring magic to the High Country for the 35th season!”                                     

Tickets can now be purchased online at lmc.edu/summertheatre and by mail request, or at the box office beginning June 19. Box office hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Please check online for show day hours. For group sales or questions, call the box office at 828.898.8709.

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