Dakota Stage Ltd.: Our Roots

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Our Roots

The history of the Shade Tree Players

The Shade Tree Players was organized in 1970 by Sister Barbara Ann Gehrki, University of Mary, and Lee Nagel, a local educator. Their purpose was to establish a children's theater where the acting would be done by children.

In 1991, Shade Tree Players merged with Dakota Stage, Ltd. This merger provided the Shade Tree Players with a home, storage, administrative support, theatrical advice and counsel.

  • Shade Tree Players began as the Priory Community Center Children's Theatre

  • The first travelling troupe was called Street Theatre

  • In 1971, the name was changed to Children's Community Theatre

  • In 1972, the name Shade Tree Players was adopted

  • In 1991, Shade Tree Players merged with Dakota Stage Ltd.

  • Shade Tree Players is produced and managed by the staff of Dakota Stage Ltd.

  • Since its inception, STP has produced at least one major production each summer

Participation in Shade Tree Players is more than a summer activity. The lessons and skills learned and aquired will prove invaluable to these young people throughout their lives.

Performing with others in a play fosters team spirit, encourages clear enunciation, removes the fear of standing in front of an audience, promotes poise in dealing with a variety of situations, and instills professionalism, responsibility, commitment and discipline.

These attributes, while integral in producing a play, translate into every vocation later in life. Participation in Shade Tree Players helps prepare these thespians for future careers and does it while they are having fun!

Summer theatre performance.