A! Magazine for the Arts

Lees-McRae College Summer Theatre announces new season

March 12, 2024

BANNER ELK, N.C.Get ready for another summer of engrossing performances, stunning set design and inspiring stories with the latest season of Lees-McRae Summer Theater. The 2024 season of the theater series is the official kickoff of the college’s 125-year anniversary celebration, and Lees-McRae is bringing back some crowd favorites to commemorate the milestone. This year’s season features an all-new variety show and a revival of the beloved local history tale “From the Mountaintop: The Edgar Tufts Story.”

As a follow-up to the well-received variety show from the 2023 season, “High Country Talent Jamboree” will showcase the culture of the High Country through music, dance, and more. The show will only have one performance at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 26.

“From the Mountaintop: The Edgar Tufts Story” is another celebration of local heritage. The musical, written and directed by Lees-McRae Summer Theater’s own Janet Barton Speer, tells the story of the college’s founder Rev. Edgar Tufts. Discover the journey of Tufts’ life from his early days in Banner Elk as a seminary student, to founding some of the town’s most historically significant institutions, including Grandfather Home for Children, the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church, Grace Hospital, and Lees-McRae College itself.

“I am so excited to bring back the show on Edgar Tufts. This is the perfect launch of Lees-McRae’s 125thanniversary. Our college was created because a young Presbyterian minister saw a need and was able to move mountains to reach his goals,” Speer said. “Add to that our variety show featuring mountain talent, and you have a love letter to our beautiful area.”

There will be three matinee performances of “From the Mountaintop: The Edgar Tufts Story” at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 20; Sunday, July 21; and Tuesday, July 23. There will also be five evening performances of the show held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 16 through Saturday, July 20.

Tickets for this season’s shows go on sale Monday, April 1.

Learn more about Lees-McRae Summer Theatre 2024.