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The 2019 Season of Lees-McRae Summer Theater Presents Mamma Mia, From the Mountaintop (The Edgar Tufts Story) and Newsies

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

Dr. Janet Barton Speer

Artistic Director


The 2019 season of Lees-McRae Summer Theater presents Mamma Mia, From the Mountaintop (The Edgar Tufts Story) and Newsies. All performances will be at the Lees-McRae Hayes Auditorium and Broyhill Theatre.

Mamma Mia is a classic with Judy Craymer’s ingenious melding of iconic Swedish pop group, ABBA, with the enchanting tale of family and friendship on a Greek island paradise. 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. Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’s 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. Mamma Mia will debut June 27, 28, 29 and July 2 at 7 p.m. In addition, there will be matinee performances at 2 p.m. on June 30 and July 2 & 3.

From The Mountaintop, The Edgar Tufts Story is next in line and features a production that celebrates local heritage. 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 and Tommy Oaks, tells the story of Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Edgar Tufts. He first came to the region in the late 1800s 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. From The Mountaintop, The Edgar Tufts Story will be next in line showing July 11, 12, 13, 16 and 7 p.m. In addition, there will be matinee performances at 2:00 p.m. on July 14, 16, 17.

Newsies, the multi Tony award winning story of newsboys and girls at the turn of the century in New York who fought the system and won! Based on true events, this is a Disney favorite that will be filled with young actors singing and dancing their way across the stage. Newsies rounds out the season with performances on July 30, 31, August 1, 2, 3 at 7:00 p. m. In addition, there will be matinee performances at 2:00 p. m. on August 3 and 4.

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 in price from $114 for premium seating to $99 for general seating.

Tickets can be purchased online at lmc.edu/summertheatre, by mail request and at the box office until the final performance on August 5. Box office hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Please check on our web site for show day hours. For group sales, call the box office at 828-898-8709.