Art lifts the spirit and sparks new connections. It deepens a student’s understanding and fosters an appreciation for other cultures. Art inspires fresh ways of looking at the world.
Here at Mercersburg, the arts are a vital component of a student’s education. The campus sizzles with creativity. Student artwork adorns the walls; student theatrical productions often sell out. Singing groups bring the joy of music to campus and beyond. Students hone their skills—but more important, they develop new confidence and discover fundamental truths about who they are and where they might go in life. The arts affirm students and move them to consider new perspectives and ambitions.
To support the Academy’s first-rate programs in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts, Mercersburg brings all the arts together under one dazzling roof. The Burgin Center for the Arts, which opened in 2006, has ignited new levels of creative energy and serves as a community space used and appreciated by all.
List of 2 members.
Director of the Burgin Center for the Arts & Director of Theatre
Laurie’s career as a theatre educator, director, professional actress, and theatre company artistic director provide strong assets for Mercersburg’s academic and co-curricular offerings. Prior to Mercersburg, Laurie created the academic theatre programs at the Bullis School and the Garrison Forest School, and was an adjunct professor at American University. Her professional acting career has included stage, television, and movie work. She received the Best Director’s Award for the Source Theatre’s Washington Theatre Festival in 1996 and received a special citation from the Maryland House of Delegates for her work as artistic director for the Potomac Theatre Company.
Laurie is a certified Lessac voice and body trainer and is the immediate past president of the Lessac Training and Research Institute. She is an active member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association and Association for Theatre in Higher Education, where she presents regularly at yearly conferences. Laurie is also the inaugural holder of Mercersburg’s Palmer Chair for the Fine Arts. She and her husband, faculty emeritus Jim Applebaum, previously served as dormitory deans on campus.
Wells approaches teaching by establishing a strong rapport with students and fostering their knowledge of art concepts and the mechanics of art in both the studio and for A.P. Art History. He believes by constituting a supportive atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, a foundation is developed for receptive learning. His academic appointments have included Bennington College, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, the Kildonan School, and many art centers throughout the country. In addition to teaching art, Wells continues to exhibit his ceramic vessels nationally. He was appointed head of the fine arts department in 2013.
Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center. Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. 300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA 17236 GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236 717-328-6173