SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — What used to be known as the Sioux Empire Community theater has a new name and a new look. With the organization now out of debt, the Premier Playhouse is bringing quality live theater to Sioux Falls.
You’ll find the Premier Playhouse in the Orpheum Theater in downtown Sioux Falls. Along with new office space, comes full-time employees.
“On day one when I took over it was myself and a bookkeeper”, said Robin Byrne.
Executive and Artistic Director Robin Byrne says he’s hired 6 full time professional theater staff and another half dozen part time workers. Along with the productions, the Premier Playhouse offers classes. He says it will still be a community theater.
“So, it’s a professional theater company serving the community giving ordinary people in the community an opportunity to be on stage in professional productions that are run by people who really know what they are doing,” said Byrne.
Premier bank is sponsoring the Playhouse for the next 4 years. Byrne says this allows them pay people a bit more for their time.
“We asked people to give up lots of time and put in lots of hours and effort into productions for a stipend that is pitiful,” said Byrne.
It also means they can bring the level of the performances up in other ways.
“It allows us to buy equipment that we beg steal borrow and sometimes isn’t up to it. a little example of that is we used some fog machine for blood brothers that were inconsistent so now for a Christmas Carol we’ve said we’ve got some money lets invest in some better machinery and make sure that the fog on the stage looks like fog,” said Byrne.
The next show is A Christmas Carol, which they plan to make a yearly tradition. They will also be taking productions on the road, with plans to put on performances of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps” in towns like Mitchell, Madison and Dell Rapids.
You can view shows and buy tickets here.