Performing Arts class performs Alice in Wonderland at three local elementary schools

April 23, 2014

As part of the Performing Arts curriculum, Lees-McRae students visited three local elementary schools to perform Alice in Wonderland. On Thursday, April 10, Katelyn Dancy, Katie Gesell, Destini Fleming, Adrienne Reece and Schuyler Carson performed two shows at Newland Elementary School for kindergarten through fifth grade children. Then on Tuesday, April 15, Laren Evans, Holly Knowles, Anna Ashburn, Chloe Boggs and Randi Sowards performed shows at Banner Elk Elementary School for pre-kindergarten through third grade children and Crossnore Elementary School for kindergarten through third grade children.

“Performing at local schools was a wonderful way for our students to feel the impact live theatre can have on younger children,” said David Craven, assistant professor of performing arts. “Our Lees-McRae students were able to learn the differences in how physical humor and repetition is funnier to younger children (5 - 8), where older children (9 -12) react more to dry wit and attitudes between characters. The teachers were also tickled by lines the playwright, Chip Coffey, specifically wrote to keep adults amused.”

The Performing Arts Studies program at Lees-McRae uses an integrated curriculum to prepare artists and leaders for an eclectic and exciting job market. Students study creative and artistic direction, performance, technical theatre, arts management and conduct academic research. Utilizing performance venues on campus (Hayes Auditorium, Broyhill Theatre, Lauritsen Technical Theatre and Design Studio [under construction] and a professional company - Lees-McRae Summer Theatre), students gain hands-on knowledge the moment they arrive on campus.

“Taking our performance of Alice in Wonderland to kids at elementary schools was a great experience, because we finally got to put what we had been working on in class into practice,” said Anna Ashburn, Lees-McRae student. “The kids and teachers really enjoyed it, and I hope that we can bring more performances and interactive activities to the schools in the future.”

For more information about performing arts at Lees-McRae, please visit or call 828.898.5241.

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Katelyn Dancy as Alice and Destini Fleming as Lorinda.
Laren Evans as Alice and Holly Knowles as the Caterpillar.