Last Updated on July 17, 2023 9:28 am
BANNER ELK, N.C.─ Every North Carolinian knows the story of Orville and Wilbur Wright who successfully piloted the first manned heavier-than-air aircraft in history at Kitty Hawk and allowed the state to claim the title of “first in flight.” However, another equally important figure in the story has largely been lost to time. The omission of Katharine Wright from the public consciousness will be rectified this summer when her story takes center stage in the final Lees-McRae Summer Theatre production, “The [W]right Sister.”
“The [W]right Sister” focuses on the story of Orville and Wilbur’s sister, Katharine Wright. While Orville and Wilbur focused on the aeronautics, Katharine played an equally important role in the flight story by meeting and greeting with kings, presidents, and world leaders about her brothers’ invention, running the family bicycle shop that funded their projects, and motivating and collaborating with them throughout the journey.
“I’m not sure it would have happened without her,” Lees-McRae Summer Theatre Director, and writer of the show, Janet Barton Speer said. “Where the Wright brothers were in the sky, she was grounded. She was practical, no nonsense, and she kept that family going.”
The tale spans nearly 30 years, following the Wright family from their time running a bicycle shop in Ohio, through their summers on Kitty Hawk in the Outer Banks where they first took flight. While the family only spent about three summers on the island, their time there became an integral part of North Carolina history and a crucial turning point in their own lives.
While Speer said that “The [W]right Sister” will be particularly intriguing for audience members who are interested in North Carolina history, the compelling story will find its way into the heart of anyone who is interested in why people do the things they do. A fascinating historical tale that ties in discovery, family melodrama, and an inspirational tone, “The [W]right Sister” is a must-see for theatregoers this season.
There will be two matinee performances of “The [W]right Sister” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 23 and Saturday, July 29. In addition, there will be four evening performances at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25; Wednesday, July 26; Thursday, July 27; and Friday, July 28. Adult tickets are $38 per person for standard seating and $43 per person for premier. Student and child tickets are $18 per person for standard seating and $20 per person for premier.