Lees-McRae Summer Theatre

Get ready for a season of musicals! For more than three decades, Lees-McRae Summer Theatre has been providing high quality, professional theatre to the community and summer visitors of the area. 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 150+ member company who join us in the mountains from all over the country to share their talents.

2023 Season

Online ticket orders available April 20
Box Office open for in-person sales June 14–July 29

Red, White, and Blue Ridge Variety Show

7 p.m. Shows: June 30
2 p.m. Shows: July 2

Directed by Janet Barton Speer

The 2023 Summer Theatre season is paying homage to this great state we call home—North Carolina! We’re thrilled to kick off our 37th season with a variety show that will be fun for the entire family and just in time for the Fourth of July! Featuring our talented 2023 company, who come from around the nation and even right here in the High Country region, this variety show features some of the best music, dancing, comedy, and patriotic songs, all presented with a North Carolina flair!

Inspired By A True Story
Music, Book and Story by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
Produced by Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, Zebulon LLC, Jay Alix and Una Jackman, Len Blavatnik, James L. Nederlander, Carson and Joseph Glederman, Balboa Park Productions, The Shubert Organization, Jamie deRoy/Catherine Adler/Cricket Jiranek
In association with Rodger Hess, A.C. Orange International, Broadway Across America, Sally Jacobs and Warren Baker, Diana DiMenna, Exeter Capital, Agnes Gund, True Love Productions, and The Old Globe
BRIGHT STAR is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Theatrical Rights Worldwide 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036. www.theatricalrights.com

Bright Star

7 p.m. Shows: July 6, 7, 8, 11
2 p.m. Shows: July 9, 12

Directed by Gabriel Vanover

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 1940s. 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

7 p.m. Shows: July 25, 26, 27, 28
2 p.m. Shows: July 23, 29

Directed by Janet Barton Speer

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 Katharine 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.