Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Communication Studies and Theatre


The purpose of this study was to “provide a record of the theatrical activities” in Brookings, South Dakota from 1879 through 1898. To achieve this end, the writer attempted to present a historical frame of reference which would serve as a “backdrop” for the theatrical scenes and community scenarios. The town of Brookings was founded in 1879 by William Skinner and leading citizens of Fountain, Dakota. B rooking’s First Opera House was constructed in 1884. The Opera house’s “life” of fourteen years was relatively short, but it was very busy when one considers the number and scope of entertainments that took place within its confines. The years 1879 through 1898 witnessed a combined total of 273 companies or groups appeared in the city’s theatrical establishments. Professional variety productions comprised 108 of these shows given in the halls; and 8 could be labelled as legitimate dramas. Amateur presentations included 58 variety acts and 39 were of a dramatic or comedy type.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Theater -- History
Theater -- South Dakota -- Brookings


Includes bibliographical references




South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only