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MCF: What a Life!
An original musical by Todd Fletcher about the incomparable Founder of TASIS, M. Crist Fleming.
It was 1956 when Mrs. M. Crist Fleming founded The American School in Switzerland as the first American boarding school in Europe. Mrs. Fleming, educated at Radcliffe College and formerly the head of her parents’ school and then her own in Pennsylvania, decided to transplant the American independent-school tradition into the culturally and historically rich garden of Europe, and to invite young people from all over the world to share in the harvest. During the subsequent dizzying half century, TASIS has flourished, providing leadership in international education and opening additional schools and summer programs in England, Greece, and Spain. Through their TASIS education, well over 20,000 young people from dozens of countries have learned respect for other people, races, and cultures; for past and current endeavors in the arts and sciences; and for themselves as moral and responsible individuals. In 1983, Mrs. Fleming was honored by the U.S. Secretary of Education for her “significant efforts and tremendous contributions towards the furtherance of education at the international level.” He especially recognized the TASIS Schools which had “introduced thousands of Americans to European culture and civilization” and many foreign students to “the best that America has to offer in its education, culture, and opportunities.”
MCF: What a Life! The Book
It is difficult to remember when the world was smaller—when air travel was a privilege and foreigners a curiosity. Travel was for those with pluck and fortitude, for those with the gumption to see beyond narrow political and social mores. Perhaps the most poignant stories in the delightful book MCF: What a Life! are those of her time before she built the School, when she was exploring Culture, earning Wisdom, learning Knowledge, and discovering her Truth. Mrs. Fleming's writing sheds light on her story, and the story of TASIS. Told in her own words and in the words of those whose lives she touched, MCF: What a Life! explores nine decades of the life that brought us all together. The book is an inspirational keepsake to forever remind us of Mrs. Fleming's spirit and joy.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase your copy of MCF: What a Life! for $35 (including shipping).
We also offer a package deal of In Pursuit of Excellence and MCF: What a Life! for $85 with postage included.
In 2000, in celebration of Mrs. Fleming’s 90th birthday, her daughter, Lynn Fleming Aeschliman '63, commissioned composer-lyricist Todd Fletcher to create a musical based on Mrs. Fleming’s life. The musical had its world premiere in Montagnola in 2000 and was subsequently performed in England and New York in 2002 and again in Montagnola in 2004.
A 10th anniversary production of the musical was performed in 2011 to celebrate what would have been Mrs. Fleming's 100th Birthday, and a special performance served as the cornerstone of the School's 60th Anniversary Celebration in August 2016.
60th Anniversary Performance: August 2016
We celebrated our 60th anniversary over the weekend of August 19–21, 2016, and the highlight of the celebration was a special production of MCF: What a Life!
The 60th Anniversary performance was produced by Lynn Fleming Aeschliman and directed by Jonathan Morris. It was performed for alumni at the 60th Gala on the evening of August 20 and then again for the local community the following afternoon.
Learn about the cast and crew.
High School Theater Performance: April 2017
The following April, the High School Theater Program performed MCF: What a Life! as its spring musical.