A full summer celebrating the life and legacy of Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Edgar Tufts, will kick off Sunday, June 9 with a free gallery exhibit in Hayes Auditorium and Broyhill Theatre and a reception in the adjacent Miller Commons on the campus of Lees-McRae.
From 3–5 p.m., enjoy historical photographs of the college before an exclusive performance by From the Mountaintop: The Edgar Tufts Story cast members. The event will also host members of the Tufts family for the community to meet as well as food and refreshments.
One of three performances in the 2019 Lees-McRae Summer Theatre season, From the Mountaintop: The Edgar Tufts Story recounts the life of Tufts—a man who arrived to the region in the late 1800s as a seminary student to organize a church, and later went on to establish the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church, Lees-McRae College, Cannon Memorial Hospital, and Grandfather Home for Children.
The musical, written by Janet Barton Speer with songs and lyrics by John Thomas and Tommy Oaks, follows Tufts from his earliest struggles as a motherless teenager to his ultimate triumphs in Banner Elk.
The show will premiere July 11 in Hayes Auditorium and Broyhill Theatre with additional performances July 12, 13, and 16 at 7 p.m. and afternoon shows July 14, 16, and 17 at 2 p.m.
Tickets can now be purchased online, by mail request, or at the box office beginning June 19.
Learn more about the full 2019 Lees-McRae Summer Theatre lineup, ticket prices and more here!
The summer’s celebrations will also include historical walking tours of Banner Elk. From July 8–17, visitors and High Country community members can discover a new side of Banner Elk’s most important locations such as the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church, the gravesite of Edgar Tufts, the Historic Commons at Lees-McRae College, and so much more.
Tour times are daily from July 8–17 at 12:30 p.m. with additional tours Thursday, July 11–Saturday, July 13 and Tuesday, July 16 at 5:30 p.m. All tours begin at Hayes Auditorium and Broyhill Theatre. Those interested may sign up for a tour at the Hayes Auditorium box office starting June 19.
Speer shared her excitement for the coming summer events.
“It’s going to be thrilling to revisit the Edgar Tufts story through photographs, walking tours, special events by the institutions he founded, and of course, the new musical,” she said. “His life and legacy have much to teach us about how to live our lives today.”
Learn more about Banner Elk’s Heritage of Service celebration here!