July 18, 2013
Summer Theatre announces two new fundraising events

Lees-McRae Summer Theatre is proud to host two fundraising events, one on Friday, July 19 at 2 p.m. and one on Thursday, August 15 at 7 p.m. Both events will be held in Evans Auditorium in the Cannon Student Center on the campus of Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk.

“I am excited for the two fundraising events for Summer Theatre Intern Scholarships,” says Janet Speer, artistic director for Lees-McRae Summer Theatre. "Our first event will be Dr. Amy Lezberg's presentation of 'Two Heads are Better than One' focusing on musical theater giants which will be perfect for our audiences and our students alike. Did I say perfect? How perfect is it that she will be speaking about Betty Comden and Adolph Greene, the writers of the Broadway Musical Show Singin' in the Rain! our third summer musical comedy show. Dr. Lezberg will also speak about Danny Kaye and his antics in movies and theater as well as the contributions of his artistic manager and wife, Sylvia Fine.”

The other fundraiser is another outstanding event: Linda Spitzer, a renowned storyteller in the southeast. Spitzer will present “Have I Got a Story for You: Folktales of Wit and Wisdom."

“We are thrilled to have these two ladies on our campus,” says Speer, “and we cannot wait to see the audiences’ reactions.”

Admission is by donation which will designated for the Summer Theatre intern Scholarships. Donations will be taken at the door.

“This year we have 24 interns -- college students training with a professional company,” says Dr. Speer. “This is not only a hands-on experience but academic as well, with writing and analytical skills applied. Your donations will go to support this worthwhile cause.”

For more information, please call the Lees-McRae Box Office at 828-898-8709 or contact Janet Speer at

“Two Heads Are Better Than One”

Hear the fascinating story of the careers and relationships of two show business couples: Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine, and Betty Comden and Adolph Green.  Danny often said he had a “Fine head on his shoulders.” Comden and Green at first wanted nothing so much as to be performers, but ended up as the longest running collaboration in American theater history –Some of their Broadway award -winning shows were Singin' in the Rain, On the Town, Bells are Ringing, Auntie Mame and many more.

About Dr. Amy Lezberg

Dr. Amy Lezberg has had a fascinating career. Most recently she worked as a consultant to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State on the accreditation of higher education. She has lived in and worked in countries as diverse as Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, and Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Cambodia, Mongolia and others assisting them in establishing and beginning to apply higher standards to their educational systems.

Dr. Amy Lezberg is also an advocate for higher education for women in countries that do not allow women to be educated. She wrote an article "Distance Education can be Dynamite for Women" for Women in  Higher Education and has given presentations  about the ways in which accreditation can enhance the roles of women in higher education, i.e., where women do not have the mobility that men have to attend courses away from their home. One of these articles was published by the Fulbright Commission in Egypt.

In the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Argentina, she addressed general accreditation issues at various institutions of higher education, explaining how the US model could be modified for their national system. In Botswana she explained the US system of accreditation to a conference of higher education and ministry representatives from the southern tier of the African continent.  

In her former life Dr. Lezberg was the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health in Boston, and taught at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and at Lesley University in Cambridge.  

Another interesting part of Dr. Lezberg’s career and life was as a Fulbright scholar in Germany and a Fulbright Senior Scholar for three years in Qatar and as a Fulbright Senior Specialist for two eight week stints in Cambodia and Turkish Cyprus. From 2006 to 2011 and again this May she was a reviewer for the Fulbright Senior Specialist program and in 2003 was a presenter at the orientation workshop for new Fulbright Senior Scholars going to the Middle East.  

You won’t find a more interesting person to interview. This can be done by phone or email. Dr. Lezberg’s phone number is 561-965-1933. She lives in Lake Worth, Florida and will spend the month of July in Banner Elk, North Carolina. Her cell phone is 561-389-6282. In July she will stay at Sugar Ski and Country Club. Her email is

Linda Spitzer, storyteller, will perform “Have I Got a Story for You” on August 15. This fundraising presentation will begin at 7 PM in Evans Auditorium in the Student Union at Lees-McRae College.

About Linda Spitzer

Linda has a master’s degree in Story Arts from Eastern Tennessee State University. She has been a successful professional storyteller for 25 years and is still performing. In 2000 she was picked as one of the regional storyteller presenters at the National Conference of Storytellers. Three of her stories have been published in the award winning Sandspun, Florida Folktales by Florida Storytellers. One of her stories was just chosen as the introduction for the book Boston: 125 Peaceful Places to Go.

Linda was the storyteller for 10 years at the Historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL and she produced and performed in 26 storytelling TV shows called Once Upon a Time Time for Cabletap in Miami, an educational channel. Linda was often selected as a featured storyteller at many storytelling festivals throughout the southeast and taught storytelling at many levels for continuing education credit for teachers in Miami.

The folktales Linda chooses to tell are from many different cultures and often are thought provoking as well as fun and entertaining . Linda with her warm and energetic style of storytelling, enchants and captivates her audience with her humor and skill.

Storytelling is not just for kids and she will be performing at the Temple of the High country on June 23 and the Buckeye Recreational Center on July 4 .

Linda has also been performing at Fred’s Art on the Green on Beech Mountain and at the Toe River Storytelling Festival in Spruce Pine.

Linda, a native of Orlando, Florida moved to Lake Worth, Fla. in April 2004 from Miami where she was a Jewish educator for 40 years at two synagogues. She has been spending the summers in Banner Elk for the last 12 years.

Media Contact:

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