Each year’s cast and crew is a talented mix of veterans and fresh faces drawn together by a love of performance and a location that’s unlike any other in the area. Laura Nesson, a South Dakota native that now works as a set designer in New York City, credits the Black Hills Playhouse for teaching her to “be a theater technician and a person.” Like Nesson, many cast and crew members have gone on to pursue careers in New York City and other prominent theater areas.
“The state park is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. To work and live there was a privilege beyond most others,” said Nesson. “I hang out with fellow BHP alums a few times a week. It changed the course of my life.”
More than 70 years later, Lee’s dream has become an institution known for entertaining shows and life-changing moments for cast, crew and audience members. (His legacy is also preserved at the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts at the University of South Dakota.) The Black Hills Playhouse represents the best of beauty and performance in South Dakota. When planning a trip to the Black Hills, make sure to make a BHP performance part of your trip. The quality of the productions in such an amazing and isolated area will leave you with memories (and possibly sore sides from laughter) that will last a lifetime.