▶ ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
In The High Country
The performing arts have a long and storied history in the High Country. Most companies have spent years honing their craft and are now able to produce some of the best shows around. With professional theater productions like Lees-McRae Summer Theatre, Horn in the West and Ensemble Stage Summer Theater, community theaters like the Ashe County Little Theater, Heritage Hall Theater and student theaters like Appalachian State University there truly is something for every theater lover to enjoy in the High Country. Many shows sell out quick, so be sure to get your tickets to this year’s round of great productions soon!
Lees-McRae Summer Theatre
In 1985, Lees-McRae Summer Theatre started its first summer series with I Do! I Do!, The Mousetrap, Coming of Age and children’s production Where Are Friends When You Need Them. By 2004, the Summer Theatre had 100 paid performers, technicians and managers. Audience attendance topped at 6,000 guests each summer with an annual operating budget of $150,000. Today, average ticket sales are around 8,000. The shows have become known as one of the best series of summer theatre in North Carolina.
2015 Calendar: Oliver! The Musical Friday, June 26 at 7pm / Saturday, June 27 at 7pm / Sunday, June 28 at 2pm / Tuesday, June 30 at 7pm / Wednesday, July 1 at 7pm / Thursday, July 2 at 7pm / Friday, July 3 at 2pm | Lend Me a Tenor Wednesday, July 15 at 7pm / Thursday, July 16 at 2 and 7pm / Friday, July 17 at 7pm / Saturday, July 18 at 2 and 7pm / Sunday, July 19 at 2pm | The Denim King, a Musical Saturday, Aug. 1 at 2 and 7pm / Sunday, Aug. 2 at 2pm / Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 7pm / Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 7pm / Thursday, Aug. 6 at 7pm / Friday, Aug. 7 at 2pm
Tickets: The Summer Theatre Box Office is located in Hayes Auditorium on the campus of Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk. More ticket information coming soon.
Ashe County Little Theater
The Ashe County Little Theater was first organized in September of 1959 by local radio manager, Walter Luce and high school English teacher, Elizabeth Barlow. The group became a formal organization in January of 1960 with the election of officers installing Elizabeth Barlow as president. Since that time, the little theater has produced three or four productions every year. Some past productions include Sound of Music, The Music Man, 1776, Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Camelot, Walking Across Egypt, I’ll Never Be Hungry Again, The Sugar Bean Sisters, Twelve Angry Men, The Fantasticks, A Streetcar Named Desire, On Golden Pond and Mame.
The Ashe County Little Theater is a volunteer group of folks from all walks of life in Ashe County. Presently, the Little Theater makes its home at the Ashe Civic Center.
2015 Season: The Wiz June 25 & 27 at 7:30pm | The Dixie Swim Club Aug. 27 at 7:30pm and Aug. 30 at 2pm | Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Oct. 9 at 7:30pm and Oct. 11 at 2pm
Ticket Information: At this time, the box offcie at the Ashe Civic Center is not staffed. Tickets for events are available at the Ashe Arts Center in West Jefferson or can be ordered over the phone with a credit card at 336-846-2787.
Ensemble Stage Theater
Ensemble Stage was conceived out of necessity and an unfaltering love of the performing arts and the unquenchable desire to share that love with the North Carolina High Country community. In order to provide the surrounding community with affordable access to quality performing arts, Ensemble Stage was created.
Ensemble Stage offers a variety of theatrical productions throughout the year, with both professional and amateur staff. The company also offers youth camps for youngsters to get into theater and memberships for frequent guests of shows. Some notable productions are the live radio shows, the holiday productions and the summer theater that High Country visitors and residents alike have come to love. Ensemble Stage also collaborates with other businesses to produce musical murder-mysteries and classic theater productions that young and old alike will recognize and enjoy.
The summer season opens on June 20 with The Love List, by Norm Foster. The story: Bill, a perennial bachelor, has decided to accept his friend Leon's advice and hires an old gypsy woman to find him the perfect match. She has Bill create a list of the top ten best qualities in a mate. When this allegedly "Ideal Woman" actually arrives on the scene Bill quickly learns that his list could use a few revisions. This hilarious, new comedy reminds us---Be careful what you wish for
Next up, on July 11-19 Killing Time by Richard Stockwell. The show tells of a chance meeting that brings a man a woman together. At first their conversation seems innocent, but gradually the truth emerges and we discover it wasn't a chance meeting at all. It actually appears to be a part of some sinister plot. But who concocted it? What's the "end game?" Who's really the predator and who's really the prey?
Next, on July 12, for one night only, Julie and Mary and Ethel and Babs A musical tribute to four icons of Broadway, stage, and screen: Julie Andrews, Mary Martin, Ethel Merman and Barbra Streisand. It features songs that you know, and some that you don't! Along with stories and anecdotes and fun trivia tidbits, as well as surprises!
By spinning stories and songs, Laura Hodos creates a unique evening of entertainment that weaves music and stories and laughter and (just a few!) tears.
And then, on August 8 through the 16th, I Ought To Be In Pictures by Norman Rockwell.The hilarious story of Herb, a Hollywood scriptwriter currently "at liberty" is surprised when his forgotten past reappears in the form of Libby, a teenage daughter who's trekked from Brooklyn with dreams of movie stardom. With Steffy, his sometime paramour at his side, Herb decides to take another stab at fatherhood and hopefully this time, get it right...
And finally, the 2014 summer series will wrap up with Ears on a Beatle by Mark St. Germain. The story is about a A Veteran FBI agent and a new recruit are assigned a job of critical importance to J. Edgar Hoover and the White house: get politically outspoken John Lennon out of the country before Richard Nixon runs for reelection in 1972. Based on actual declassified FBI documents and set in a time when the country was sharply divided by an unpopular war and lies flowed from Washington, this humorous yet thought-provoking play is as contemporary as today's headlines. It runs from Aug. 29 - Sept. 6
Tickets for each show can be purchased online at www.EnsembleStage.com, by phone at 828-414-1844 or tickets can be purchased the day of the show up to curtain time at the curtain desk starting one hour prior to the start of the show. Cash or check only is accepted for ticket purchases at the door.
Show information coming soon
Horn in the West Theater
Loved by young and old alike, the Horn in the West outdoor drama is located in the heart of Boone, North Carolina in one of the most beautiful outdoor theatres in the country. This adventure, from our nation’s heritage, has offered thrilling outdoor entertainment for generations of American’s since the show first premiered in 1952.
Plot Synopsis: Horn in the West is the nation’s oldest Revolutionary War drama that brings to life one of the most famous frontiersmen of history, Daniel Boone, and the hearty mountain settlers in their struggle to preserve their own freedom during the years of the War for Indepenence. The drama highlights the settlers who came to the Blue Ridge Mountains seeking freedom and an escape from British tyranny. Dr. Geoffrey Stuart, a prominent British physician, comes to the Carolina Colony to study the dreaded smallpox disease bringing with him his wife Martha and their teenage son, Jack. In May of 1771, a band of colonists who call themselves “Regulators” take up arms against the British authorities.
After being soundly defeated at the Battle of Alamance, the band of rebels is captured along with Jack Stuart who found alongside them. Dr. Stuart must find a way to rescue his son and save his family name. Through hardship and danger, house-raising and romance, the ties that bind the Stuart Family together with the small pioneer community grow. Dr. Stuart, struggling with the pride of his loyalist feelings and his dreams of returning to England finds himself the leader of the diverse mountain community.
The doctor’s aid and expertise lead to a friendship between the settlers and the Cherokee Native Americans, while the British attempt to urge the Cherokee to wage war against the settlers. Dr. Stuart’s aid among the native people leads to an understanding between the tribe and the villagers and with the help of Nane’hi, daughter of a Cherokee chief and Daniel Boone, the mountain settlement remains free. Dr. Stuart must choose between the love of a son and his loyalty to England and ultimately joins his son and neighbors on the long trek to King’s Mountain. There, they meet with the destiny that forged the future of a nation.
Hours and Admission: The 2015 season of “Horn in the West” runs from Friday, June 26 through Saturday, Aug. 8, Tuesday through Sunday. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. and showtime is at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale for pre-order starting in February.
VIP Package: Adult Vip ($35) and Child VIP ($24)
Gold Level Seating: Adult ($25) and Child ($13)
General Reserved: Adult ($20) and Child ($10)
Heritage Hall Theater
Started in 2005, Heritage Hall Theater has been providing the community with quality entertainment for all ages for a decade. For our 10th anniversary, Heritage Hall Theater will present a spectacular lineup of plays, musical performances, musicals and more.
The Honky Tonk Angels - Thursday, June 25th, 7 pm | Friday, June 26th, 7 pm | Saturday, June 27th, 7 pm | Sunday, June 28th, 3 pm The creator of “Always…Patsy Cline” combines over 30 classic country tunes with a hilarious story about three gutsy gals who are determined to better their lives and follow their dreams to Nashville. The all-hit song list includes I’ll Fly Away, Stand by Your Man, 9 to 5, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Ode to Billy Jo, These Boots are Made for Walking, Rocky Top, and I Will Always Love You. This charming, foot-stompin’ musical has played to sold-out audiences across the country. - Broadwayworld.com Tickets: $10 paid in advance/$12 door/$5 youth
The John Conlee Show - Friday, July 3rd, 7 pm John Conlee’s success began in the late 70’s. In March of 1978, the label released “Rose Colored Glasses,” a song Conlee wrote, which became a huge hit as well as his signature song. In January of 1979, the label re-released “Back Side of Thirty” which went on to become a No. 1 record, and the hits continued to roll. The John Conlee hit list includes songs such as “Lady Lay Down,” “Before My Time,” “Friday Night Blues,” “Miss Emily’s Picture,” “Busted,” “I Don’t Remember Loving You,” “Common Man,” “I’m Only In It For The Love,” “In My Eyes,” “As Long As I’m Rocking With You,” “Years After You,” “Domestic Life,” “Mama’s Rocking Chair,” “Hit The Ground Runnin’,” and “Fellow Travelers.” All of Conlee’s hits have that unmistakable common thread – that unique voice. Overall, there have been 29 single releases throughout the years with 26 of them charting in the top 20 or better. Eight of those 26 have reached the coveted No. 1 spot on the national country charts. Tickets: $25 paid in advance/$28 door
Blue Highway Band - Saturday, July 18th, 7 pm At the 20-year mark, Blue Highway is indisputably one of the most esteemed and influential groups in contemporary bluegrass. The band’s eleven exceptional albums and compelling live performances give proof to the stellar reviews, Grammy nominations, and numerous awards earned by the band since it first took the stage on December 31, 1994. That first performance featured the same musicians that comprise Blue Highway today, making their 20th anniversary all the more remarkable. With a deep bench of virtuosic songwriters, vocalists and instrumentalists, Blue Highway’s hallmark is an unwavering commitment to the ensemble, the “democracy of the band” that makes Blue Highway a powerhouse. With eleven highly-acclaimed albums to its credit, Blue Highway has garnered two Grammy nominations, a Dove Award, topped the Bluegrass Unlimited radio charts, and won numerous International Bluegrass Music Association awards. Refusing to coast on past glories, Blue Highway continues to push its music to new levels of accomplishment. Artfully balanced between tradition and innovation, it remains in the forefront of contemporary bluegrass music. Tickets: $20 paid in advance/$23 door/$10 youth
Fire in the Kitchen — Celtic Band - Saturday, August 15th, 7 pm Fire In The Kitchen has performed at venues such as: Dollywood-Festival of Nations, Bristol Rhythm ‘N Roots, The Virginia Highlands’ Festival, The Bristol Paramount Theatre, The Barter Theatre, The Carter Family Fold, Winston-Salem Celtic Festival and many, many more. The group has been featured on Public radio programming “Live in Studio 1A” as well as the PBS program “Song of the Mountains” that is being aired nationwide. The group was honored to have their first CD entitled “An Appalachian Celtic Journey” archived at the Smithsonian Institute in celebration of the Year of Appalachia. Tickets are $10 in advance/$12 door/$5 youth
The Snyder Family Band - Saturday, August 29th, 7 pm he band centers around the talented teen siblings, Samantha and Zeb Snyder, whose vocal and instrumental skills have generated something of a buzz these past few years. With Zeb on guitar and Samantha on fiddle, their sound encompasses a variety of traditional music that includes bluegrass, swing, Celtic, and other modern acoustic styles.All the Snyders are involved, with dad (Bud) on bass, mom (Laine) running the show and singing the odd harmony vocal, and younger brother (Owen) just starting to get into the act. But it’s Samantha and Zeb that generate the attention for their startling musical maturity and knack for entertaining at such a young age (bluegrasstoday.com). The Snyder Family Band performed at Heritage Hall a few years ago and were a real hit with the audience. They are amazingly talented and have youthful energy and enthusiasm for an entertaining performance that can only come from being professional, prepared, and gifted. Heritage Hall patrons are in for a real treat with the young talented family. Tickets are $10 in advance/$12 door/ $5 youth
Steve Sensenig Jazz Quartet - Saturday, September 12th, 7 pm Steve Sensenig first came to the Heritage Hall stage as an accompanist and soloist at one of John Woodall’s Christmas concerts. He “had” everybody in the Hall when he played a stirring rendition of the Charlie Brown Christmas theme song. He was invited back by popular demand the next year as a featured artist on his own. Tickets are $10 in advance/$12 door/ $5 youth
Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance provides many theatrical shows throughout the year that are open to the public.
Shows held by the ASU Department of Theatre and Dance are held at Valborg Theater, The Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts or Greer Studio Theatre on the campus of Appalachian State University.
Tickets: Ticket prices and box office information can be found at www.theatre.appstate.edu/performances/box-office. Advance tickets are available for all performances and are available online, by phone or in person in advance or the day of the show.
faculty/staff and seniors: $13
ASU students and children under 8: $8
faculty & staff/senior: $8
ASU students and youth: $5
Reduced ticket prices are available for groups of ten or more persons by advance arrangement with the Box Office Manager for both Valborg and Greer productions.
The box office is located in the lobby of the Valborg Theatre. Tickets can also be purchased at the venue door one hour before curtain time. Cash, check and credit and debit cards are accepted. AppCards are not accepted for ticket purchases. Tickets can also be charged by phone at 828-262-3063 or online at www.tickets.com.
Show information coming soon