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.