Enjoy professional musical theatre just a few miles from Sugar Mountain! For more than three decades, Lees-McRae Summer Theatre has been providing high quality, professional theatre. Referred to as the “Gem of the High Country,” the company produces a variety of theatre, but specializes in musicals—Golden Age classics to the newest Broadway hits, and even original works. Each summer the productions are brought to life by the hard work of a 100+ member company who join us in the mountains from all over the country to share their talents.
2023 Season. Buy tickets here.
Red, White and Blue Ridge: A Blue Ridge Variety Show
Fri June 30 at 7 pm & Sunday July 2 at 2 pm, Sunday
Ticket price: Adult $20 / Child, Student $10
Directed by Janet Barton Speer. The 2023 Summer Theatre Season is paying homage to this great state, and we’re thrilled to kick it off with a variety show that will be fun for the entire family. Every kind of entertainment under the North Carolina sun! You will see mountain dance and enjoy mountain, classical and patriotic music. We will recognize our veterans in the audience. Also, you’ll hear different kinds of entertainment, all with North Carolina themes.
Bright Star is a North Carolina musical written and composed by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell.
Thurs July 6 at 7 pm, Fri July 7 at 7 pm, Sat July 8 at 7 pm, Sun July 9 at 2 pm, Tues July 11 at 7 pm, Wed July 12 at 2 pm
Inspired by a true story and featuring the Tony-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the mountains of North Carolina in the 1920s and ’40s. Billy Cane, a young soldier just home from World War II, meets Alice Murphy, the brilliant editor of a southern literary journal. Together they discover a powerful secret that alters their lives forever. With beautiful bluegrass melodies and powerfully moving characters, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, heart, and plenty of warm southern humor. An uplifting theatrical journey that holds you tightly in its grasp, Bright Star is being called “a fresh breeze,” “downright wonderful,” and “gentle-spirited” by critics!
The [W]right Sister
You know the brothers, but without their sister, Katharine, there might not have been a plane!
Sun July 23 at 2 pm, Tues July 25 at 7 pm, Wed July 26 at 7 pm, Thurs July 27 at 7 pm, Fri July 28 at 7 pm, Friday, Sat July 29 at 2 pm
If you hear the “Wright Brothers,” your mind travels easily to Wilbur and Orville, who in 1903 went from simple bicycle shop owners to the famous inventors of heavier-than-air flight. But while the Wright Brothers had their heads in the clouds, there was one person on the ground working to help them soar—their sister, Katharine. The [W]right Sister brings Katharine’s forgotten story to life in a beautiful new musical that spans decades—from their childhood and work in the Dayton, Ohio bicycle shop, to her nursing skills that saved Orville’s life more than once, to her ability to charm heads of state, kings, and presidents while her brothers struggled to even greet them.
Janet Speer, with John Thomas and Tommy Oaks—the creative trio who brought the hit musicals America’s Artist: The Norman Rockwell Story, From the Mountaintop: The Edgar Tufts Story, and The Denim King: The Moses Cone Story to our stage—found the life of Katherine Wright to be a compelling subject for their next musical. With a captivating story and beautiful original music, The [W]right Sister proves how strong a sister’s love and sacrifices can be, even during the most difficult of times
Above: The 2021 world premiere of “America’s Artist: The Norman Rockwell Story” showcased the life of a beloved painter who created more than 4,000 pieces of art.