The Black Hills Playhouse, nestled in the Black Hills delivers exceptional theatre programs that engage people from every community. The line-up for 2022 is no different. Headed back into the theater this summer, Dan Workman, Artistic Director for the Black Hills Playhouse, explains the summer schedule.
“We have a fantastic season on tap. Our first show is The Mountaintop by Katori Hall. It is a fantastic play, a kind of a retelling, an imaginative retelling of Martin Luther King’s last night before he was assassinated. And it is a an engaging and marvelous play.”
“Next up, we have The Odd Couple by Neil Simon, this classic comedy. We’re kind of doing it with a little bit of a twist. So, myself and Jeff Kingsbury are both playing Oscar and Felix, and we will be rotating roles every other performance. So you might want to come see that one twice.”
“Our third show is Cinderella – Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. This is the version that was done on Broadway in 2013. So we are staging it out here. It features the Rodgers and Hammerstein classical music, but kind of a little bit of an updated booking, more of storytelling that is involved in it.”
“And then our final show is Something Rotten, which is a very funny musical. It is about a couple of brothers who are rivals of Shakespeare’s, and they are trying to figure out what Shakespeare’s next great work is going to be. And they are told by a seer that it is Omlet, the musical. And so we are endeavoring to write a musical about eggs. It’s very funny, and it’s just one of those shows that has lots of references to Shakespeare. And so it’s very funny that way when we catch all of those references, but it’s just a delightful show.”
Workman says, “We are very excited about getting back into the theater. It’s been a long two seasons missed not being in the theater. 2020 we were not able to have our season and last year we scheduled it outside, which was delightful. But at the same time we are ready to be back inside. The theater has got brand new siding on it and insulation, so hopefully all of our air conditioning will work even better than it has in the past. And it’s just going to be nice to be back in inside the theater.”
Workman continues, “This is our 76th summer of performing plays since 1946. But for the last 20 years we’ve also been doing a lot of educational programing. We have our educational outreach, so we do touring with youth, so where we go across the state and in communities. We will go in and cast up to 50 kids in the show and then rehearse for a week and by the end of the week put on a show. We also have Black Hills Playhouse junior theater camps where kids come and they work for a week and learn all sorts of things and by the end of the week they put on a play there at camp. We also have programing in Sioux Falls where we are working with adults and children with disabilities to do an all abilities theater and we work with Dakota Abilities and Lifescape as partners on those aspects. So just lots of things that we are doing.”
Workman stresses the importance and the advantages of participating in theater. “Theater as an art form, when you are participating in theater, there are so many qualities that come out of that. It brings confidence to the individual who is performing it. It brings problem solving, because we are constantly figuring out how to do things. So students are learning problem solving, they are learning interpersonal communications when they are doing theater and by portraying characters and all of those and the interactions that characters have with each other. We are teaching them empathy and how that makes us all human and brings the humanity to life in all of us.”
If you are planning on visiting the Black Hills Playhouse this summer, you should know that road repairs are being made to the South Playhouse Road which will be closed from May 31-September 5, 2022. The Playhouse can be accessed on Highway 87.
To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit The Black Hills Playhouse website here.