December 04, 2013
Construction progresses on Lauritsen Technical Theatre and Design Studio

Lees-McRae broke ground last month on its newest addition, the two-story Lauritsen Technical Theatre and Design Studio. With construction on schedule, the building is anticipated to be complete in time for the much anticipated 2014 season of Summer Theatre.

Friends of the College, Kay and Jim Lauritsen, whose name the building will bear, gave a very generous donation, which has allowed this long-awaited dream to become a reality. The building will be used primarily by the Performing Arts department, but will also have secondary uses for the Communication Arts & Design program as well as other majors.

“We could not be happier about the possibilities for this building,” said Danielle Curtis, technical director and associate professor of performing arts. “It will make teaching easier and allow us to broaden the skills our students are able to learn and perfect.”

The primary use of the building will be to build sets for use in productions by the College and the Summer Theatre program. Additionally, it will provide much needed storage and work space that does not currently exist. For this very purpose, the second floor will be named “Doc’s Attic” in honor of faculty emeritus, Dr. Janet Speer, better known as “Doc.” Doc has always had an affinity for props and furnishings, and finding unique and creative ways to use discarded items for production work. This space is a perfect way to commemorate her impact on performing arts at Lees-McRae.

“Our students are so excited for the new studio to open,” said Curtis. “Right now, platforms and flats for scenes must be broken down and recreated each show, which increases the costs and resources necessary for each production. The current space also restricts faculty from using industry standard tools such as table saws and drill presses to allow students to widen their skill sets. This new space will allow us to better prepare our students for their future careers.”

The studio will create opportunities to focus on other skills students do not have the opportunity to learn now such as stretching canvas, welding, teaching proper and effective use of power tools, using different mediums on sets, and so much more.

Throughout the construction, be sure to visit for bi-weekly photo updates. For more information about performing arts at Lees-McRae, visit or call 828.898.5241.

Media Contact:

Blaine Hansen  |  Vice President of Strategic Planning and Effectiveness
Tel: 828.898.8838  |  Email:
November 2013
December 2013