Our History

Dakota Stage was founded in 1978 by a group of local residents with education and experience in the theater arts. They pledged their time and talent to enrich our community with the culture and creativity of the theater. The mission of Dakota Stage Ltd. is to provide quality community theater through the talents of artists in the Bismarck/Mandan area for the enjoyment of our audiences. Today, we work with local theater artists to produce theater productions that engage local artists, volunteers, and audiences. Our purpose is to seek out and welcome newcomers and encourage their discovery and engagement with theater as an art form.  No person is too old or too young to get involved. It is our goal to ensure our community members enjoy and participate in our productions, on stage, behind the scenes, and in the audience.

Shade Tree Players was founded in 1970 by Sister Barbara Ann Gehrki of the University of Mary as the Priory Community Center Children’s Theatre.  The group presented one outdoor touring production each summer.  In 1991, the organization merged with Dakota Stage under its current name and has grown to include as many as nine full scale summer children’s theater shows annually.  Shade Tree Players provides opportunities for children of the Bismarck-Mandan area, ages 7-18, to develop and grow their theatrical talents.  Our mission is to provide as many children who are interested a chance to participate in the performing arts in front of their family, friends, and community. Performing with others fosters teamwork and communication, promotes confidence and motivation, and instills professionalism, responsibility, and commitment.  These skills will benefit the participants in their personal and professional lives for years to come. 


Dakota Stage Ltd. Past Productions

38th season - 2016-2017

Young Frankenstein

Almost, Maine

Bell, Book and Candle

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks



37th season - 2015-2016

The 39 Steps

Christmas My Way

Twilight of the Golds

Next to Normal

Hay Fever


36th Season - 2014-2015

Boeing Boeing


Time Stands Still

I Hate Hamlet

Bonnie & Clyde


35th Season - 2013-2014

Whos on First

The Long Christmas Dinner

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

For Better


34th Season - 2012-2013

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Inspecting Carol


The Spitfire Grill

Marcus is Walking


33rd Season - 2011-2012

The Dixie Swim Club

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest

Rabbit Hole

Getting Sara Married


32nd Season - 2010-2011


A Christmas Carol


12 Angry Men

Forever Plaid


31st Season - 2009-2010

Little Shop of Horrors

A Christmas Cactus

The Cemetery Club

Crimes of the Heart

Married Alive!


30th Season - 2008-2009


A Christmas Story

Whose Wives Are They Anyway

Death trap

Plaza Suite


29th Season - 2007-2008

Home Fires

Don’t Hug Me Christmas Comedy

Kitchen Witches

Blithe Spirit

The Hand that Cradles the Rock


28th Season - 2006-2007


Dicken’s Christmas Carol Comedy - A Travesty in Two Acts

Take a Number, Darling

Arsenic and Old Lace


27th Season - 2005-2006


The Dining Room

The Odd Couple

Noises Off


26th Season - 2004-2005

The Glass Menagerie

Sorry Wrong Chimney


The Complete History of America (abridged)

Two by Two


25th Season - 2003-2004

Moon Over Buffalo

Over the River and Through the Woods

Death of a Salesman

Barefoot in the Park


24th Season - 2002-2003

I Do! I Do!

Steel Magnolias

The Homecoming

Monky Business II

The Girl in the Freudian Slip


23rd Season - 2001-2002

Last of the Red Hot Lovers

Tuna Christmas

Romeo and Juliet

More Fun Than Bowling

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat


22nd Season - 2000-2001


Miracle on 34th Street


All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten

Greater Tuna


21st Season - 1999-2000

The Sensuous Senator

The Christmas Carol

Little Women

Monky Business

Rehearsal for Murder


20th Season - 1998

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

On Golden Pond



19th Season - 1997

Run For Your Wife

Some Enchanted Evening

The Foreigner


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)


18th Season - 1996

The Gift of the Magi/Littlest Angel

The Crucible

A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking

Smoke on the Mountain



17th Season - 1995

Murder by Misadventure

The Lion in Winter

The Hand That Cradles the Rock

The Odd Couple (Female Version)

Forever Plaid

A Phoenix Too Frequent

Big Trouble

Grieg, Edvard Grieg


16th Season - 1994

Guilty Conscience

The Best Christmas Pageant

Prelude to a Kiss


The Sunshine Boys

The Girl Who Was Asked to Turn Blue


15th Season - 1993

And Then Thee Were None (Ten Little Indians)


Love Letters

Lend Me A Tenor

Nunsense II, The Second Coming

A Company of Wayward Saints

Richard Cory


14th Season - 1992

Murder Room

Life With Father

A Balancing Act


The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds

No Exit

The Hollow Crown


13th Season - 1991

Noises Off

The Mousetrap

I Ought To Be In Pictures

On Golden Pond


12th Season - 1990


A Christmas Carol

Private Lives




11th Season - 1989


A Christmas Carol

Star Spangled Girl

Of Mice and Men

Steel Magnolias


10th Season - 1988

The Fantasticks

A Christmas Carol


Arsenic & Old Lace

I Do! I Do!


9th Season - 1987

Footlight Frenzy

Crimes of the Heart

The Glass Menagerie



8th Season - 1986


Mass Appeal

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Public Eye

The Lecher & The Rose


7th Season - 1985

Play It Again, Sam

Agnes of God

Romantic Comedy


6th Season - 1984


Lovers & Other Strangers

Jacques Brel is Alive and Living in Paris

Dial M for Murder



5th Season - 1983

The Four Poster


See How They Run

The Shadow Box


4th Season - 1982

6 Rms Riv Vu

Wait Until Dark


Rodgers & Hart


3rd Season - 1981


Anything Goes

The Good Doctor

The Runner Stumbles


2nd Season - 1980

Blithe Spirit

The Fantasticks

A Christmas Carol

Same Time, Next Year

Up Rose a Burning Man


1st Season - 1979

Plaza Suite

Ten Little Indians

Side By Side by Sondheim

Barefoot in the Park