June 10, 2010
Lees-McRae Summer Theatre presents Ragtime: The Musical

Lees-McRae College is gearing up for another exciting season of Lees-McRae Summer Theatre with Ragtime: The Musical opening July 28 in Hayes Auditorium in Banner Elk.

Under the direction of Dr. Janet Speer, the show will run from July 28 to August 6, with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and a select number of matinee performances at 2 p.m.

Ragtime intertwines the stories of three extraordinary families as they confront history's timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair and what it means to live in America.

"When I listen to the music of Ragtime, I am reminded of the great musicals Showboat and Porgy and Bess. Like those classic pieces, Ragtime cuts to the emotions of a people in a growing nation and shows us both their glory and their pain," said Dr. Janet Speer, the artistic director for Lees-McRae Summer Theatre. "The play takes a look at the stories of Jewish immigrants, African Americans and the established elite who saw themselves as owners of the nation. It is funny, touching, patriotic and ultimately a fascinating history lesson, all in one epic musical that shows us where we've been, and why we continue to believe in this phenomena called America."

Ragtime was written by the award-winning composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, noted playwright Terrence McNally and based on E.L. Doctorow's distinguished novel.

"We will have the largest cast ever placed on the Lees-McRae stage. Many alumni and other Summer Theatre friends are coming in to help us mount this show. After all, when you are dealing with three cultures of people who created this great nation, you must have a large group of actors, singers and dancers to pull it off. It will be challenging, and very, very exciting," said Speer.

Tickets are $24 for adults and $13 for children and students and may be purchased at the box office located in the lobby of Hayes Auditorium beginning July 6.

For more information about the show and how to purchase tickets, please call 828.898.8709 or visit

In addition to Ragtime, Lees-McRae Summer Theatre will hold two sessions of its annual Creative and Performing Arts Camp. The dates are June 21-25 and June 28-July 2.

Camp hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. This fun and educational camp will allows students to explore the surrounding Appalachian mountain culture through drama, dance, music, film, costuming, technical theatre, creative writing, design and visual art.

The cost of $220 per camper per week includes a t-shirt, lunch and field trips. As an added bonus, campers who attend both weeks and families with multiple children attending will receive a $50 discount. Students entering first grade through 12th grade can participate in the camp.

For more information please contact Stacey Trivett, Camp Director, at or 828.898.3372.

Media Contact:

Blaine Hansen  |  Vice President of Strategic Planning and Effectiveness
Tel: 828.898.8838  |  Email: