BHSU Summer Stage brings zaniest season yet for their 11th year

Summer Stage Cast 2017. Sitting left to right: Chitra McDill, Sophia Schaeffer, Julie VanDriel, JD Schroeder, Tarina Nye, Kyle Graves, Kai Wisser, Shonee Singer, Simon Fiske

Standing from left to right: Lanaya Young, Kayla O'Neal

The slogan may have changed but the theatre students at Black Hills State University are still putting on great plays at great prices. What's now "The Best Kept Secret in the Black Hills" is the summer stock theatre company, BHSU Summer Stage, run entirely by local high school and college students from the Black Hills area. As always performances will be every Thursday through Sunday in June.

Director Bert Juhrend has selected quite the entertaining lineup of family-friendly shows for Summer Stage's 11th season. Audiences will witness men who disguise themselves in drag to win millions and their true loves, a not-so-ordinary princess who saves the kingdom with the help of some colorful characters, and a play ending the season that can't be explained any other way than hilarious chaos.

"Leading Ladies", a comedy by Ken Ludwig performs June 1-3 at 7:30 p.m. and June 4 at 2:30 p.m.

"Once Upon a Mattress", a musical comedy by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, Marshall Barer, and Mary Rodgers performs June 8-10 at 7:30 p.m. and June 11 at 2:30 p.m. The musical also performs the following week June 15-17 at 7:30 p.m. and June 18 at 2:30 p.m.

Finally, "The 39 Steps" a melodrama by Patrick Barlow performs June 22-24 at 7:30 p.m. and June 25 at 2:30 p.m.

This year's company includes (in alphabetical order) Matt Adair, Miles Amende, Izzy Drumm, Simon Fiske, Kyle Graves, Tom King, Chitra McDill, Jaci Mollman, Tarina Nye, Kayla O'Neal, Sophia Schaeffer, Tyler Schone, JD Schroeder, Shonee Singer, Julie VanDriel, Aaron Vitter, and Kai Wisser. Most of the cast members appear in more than one show this season but they all appear in the musical "Once Upon a Mattress", filling the ensemble of knights and ladies-in-waiting with the talented high school students.

Season tickets are also a great purchase this year, almost too great! Adult season tickets are $35, and senior, student, and children season tickets are a steal at $20 each. Single admission tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $10 for students, and $7 for ages 17 and under. Tickets sell fast so reserving tickets is recommended by emailing us at or calling 605.642.6171.

BHSU Summer Stage will be performing in the Woodburn Black Box Theatre (on the 3rd floor) for the second year. The newly constructed space is now only a little more than a year old. If you have trouble finding the theatre please don't hesitate to call, and there will be a cart to pick up guests from the faculty parking lot, where everyone is encouraged to park. The theatre can be reached by an elevator and the space is handicap accessible.

Also if you're in the Black Hills in July, don't miss these same students performing at the Matthews Opera House in the annual production of "The Phantom of the Matthew's Opera House", a melodrama written by BHSU alum Paul Higbee.