Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The reasons for the appearance of community theatre in Rapid City may be many and varied. However, it may be significant to note that although two colleges exist--National College of Business and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology--it was only recently that the School of Mines produced plays and then on a somewhat limited basis. It should also be pointed out that the size of the community, second largest in the state, and the geographic location of the community--removed from large metropolitan cities with resident theatre companies--may also be significant instigative factors. Ellsworth Air Force Base is located approximately ten miles outside of Rapid City and boasts a rather large cosmopolitan population which may also have created a need for legitimate theatre. As a resident of Rapid City and as an educator personally involved in theatre, the writer felt motivated to explore more fully the history of' community theatre in Rapid City. The specific purpose of this historical thesis was to trace selected aspects of community theatre ventures in Rapid City from their beginnings in the late 1930's to the present functioning group. Primary concern was given to the chronology of productions during these thirty some years. Pertinent accessory information relating to this chronology--such as directors, casts, finances, facilities, and organizational structures--was also included. Throughout, an attempt was made to isolate dominant influences in the directions taken by the various community theatre groups. It is hoped that this study, along with other similar regional studies, will serve to point out the predicted values in success or failure of beginning community theatre organizations. It is further hoped that, in conjunction with other regional studies, this study will help complete the overall picture of the development of community theatre in America. The data collected in this study may also be of value in contributing to a more complete history of Rapid City. Finally, this study is of personal interest to the writer who, as a board member and director of the Group Theatre, encountered many of the problems faced by community theatre organizations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rapid City Community Theatre (S.D.) -- History

Theatre -- South Dakota -- Rapid City

Theatre, Municipal

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University