BHCT has comfortably settled into it’s home in the Performing Arts Center of Rapid City, which opened in fall of 2012. A look back on our journey to this end shows the trials and tribulations, and the many successes, along the way .
During its first five years of operation, BHCT (under the original name Group Theatre) productions were presented wherever a space could be found . . . schools, church buildings and dinner clubs in Rapid City. In 1974, Group Theatre moved into the theatre space in the newly constructed Dahl Fine Arts Center at 713 7th Street in Rapid City. During the 1970’s and 1980’s the Artistic Directors included Gayle Forsberg, Graham Thatcher, Karen Kinney, Patrick McCusker and Steve Hinkle. Merritt Olsen served as Managing Artistic Director from 1990 – 2000. In 1992, the name was changed to Black Hills Community Theatre, reflecting a commitment to area wide participation.
Feeling the need for additional space, in 1995 Black Hills Community Theatre partnered with the Allied Arts Fund Drive, the Black Hill Symphony and the Rapid City Children’s Chorus to build the Arts Resource Center at 1202 East St. Francis Street in Rapid City. Until 2012, this building housed the administrative offices, scene shop, costume shop and rehearsal studios for Black Hills Community Theatre.
Eric Johnson served as Managing Artistic Director from 2000 to 2005. Anna Marie Thatcher served as Interim Executive Director from 2005 to 2006 and Angela McKie served as Executive Director from 2007 – 2009. During the 2007-2008 season BHCT performances were presented at the Hotel Alex Johnson but quickly moved to the BHCT Theatre in the Rushmore Mall from 2009-2012. Dennis W. Gleason served as Managing Artistic Director from 2009-2011.
Michael Kraklio served as Managing Artistic Director from 2011 to 2014. In 2012 BHCT moved into a new permanent home at the Performing Arts Center of Rapid City. Nick Johnson was appointed Executive Director in 2014, while Justin Speck served as Interim Artistic Director for the 2014-15 Season. Speck was appointed Artistic Director in June, 2015.
BHCT’s season includes five main stage productions, a Dinner Theatre fundraiser, shows by the Cherry Street Players (BHCT”S children’s troupe), and the Well Done Players (BHCT’s troupe of well seasoned actors), and a number of other special projects, classes and workshops throughout the year. Black Hills Community Theatre also operates a Costume Shop, which is open to the public for costume rentals throughout the year.
We welcome your participation, energy and new ideas! Volunteers are needed to be on stage and back stage, actors, to work on production crews and to serve on committees or the board. Check out the Volunteer Information and find the list of many opportunities available. If you want to get involved, you are invited to join us and become a part of the fun at Black Hills Community Theatre … where “Community” is our middle name!