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Arts & Life

Black Hills Playhouse Celebrates 70 Years

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Black Hills Playhouse
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Alumni from across the country are reuniting in the Black Hills region to celebrate years of live theatre. The Black Hills Playhouse is in its 70th anniversary season.

At the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park offer four summer productions. They include about 70 people from 22 states. Dan Workman is the artistic director. 

“Well right now we are in production as “She Loves Me” is going on. And it’s a delightful, charming musical from the 1960’s. It is boy and girl falling in love, but not necessary knowing who the other person is, so it’s a little bit of that, and the music and lyrics are by the same guys who wrote “Fiddler on the Roof” so it’s just wonderful music,” says Workman.

Workman says the Black Hills Playhouse was founded 70 years ago by Doc Lee. He was a professor at the University of South Dakota. Workman says Lee had a vision of bringing high-quality entertainment to rural areas.

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Credit Black Hills Playhouse
Founder, Doc Lee

“Wanting not only to get his students to get more experience in a setting that is outside of the academic arena, but also to provide an opportunity for the people of this region to have an opportunity to see quality theatre- and  as artistic director it is my goal to always continue to grow and strive for better quality and to continue to grow at artists and also to engage our audiences in new ways and to bring them the art that I so desperately love and I think that society needs,” says Workman.

Workman says the campus of the Playhouse has added several improvements over the years, including a new dining hall, costume shop, and updates to the structure of the theatre.

“And actually one of the things we’ve been working on the past couple years is a strategic plan that is in progress. There are certain strategies that we are incorporating yearly, as we’re striving to improve what it is that we offer and what it is that we do,” says Workman.

The playhouse draws around 14,000 people annually.

To look at the complete list of productions visit: http://www.blackhillsplayhouse.com/