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Community is asked to share in the future making of community theater

Three years and moving forward.

Now, what is the next step in shaping the future of the Black Dirt Theater Company? Artistic Director Andy Langenfeld wants to know, and the community can help.

“After ‘Oklahoma!’ hit the stage, I asked people to imagine a vibrant community theater in Hastings where people of all backgrounds come together to create really cool plays that folks from this area would be excited to see,” said Langenfeld. “Fast forward three years and thanks to over 200 performers, 300 individual donors, thousands of volunteer hours and tens of thousands of dollars in grants, we’ve had over 17,500 people come and see a show. I know I am running the risk of sounding like our past president George W. ...   but I think congratulations, ‘Mission Accomplished,’ is in order.”

Now, the theater company is ready for the next stage, Langenfeld said.

“We are at a really exciting stage where we’re beginning to imagine what our next steps as an organization will be,” he said.  “We love being the community theater of this area, and we feel that since we exist of, by, and for this community, it is only right that we gather as much community feedback as humanly possible to shape what exciting, audacious goals we will tackle together next.”

The community can help in one major way, he said. Participate in a short 12-question on-line survey.

“It is designed for people of all involvement levels to have their voice heard about what makes Black Dirt unique and what we should do next,” said Langenfeld. “Our goal is to have 400 to 500 people fill out the survey in the next month.  If every member of the Black Dirt family filled it out and passed it on to one friend who filled it out, we would pass that goal.” 

So Langenfeld is asking people to click onto the Black Dirt website at and click the “Black Dirt Survey” link on the right of the page.

“Then — and this is the really important part —  personally contact three or so friends that have seen a Black Dirt show and encourage them to take this short 12 question survey too.”

Langenfeld is appreciative and excited about the future.

“As part of the Black Dirt Family I hope you feel really proud about what we what we have created,” he said.  “I am so excited as I look down the road and dream about what will be next.”

Black Dirt Theater Company is also hosting Barbara Kingsley, a Guthrie performer, at The Onion Grille at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16.

She will be bringing a special preview performance of her next original show, “I am Proof of Me,” in a special dessert theater setting.

The “I am Proof of Me” show is a biographical look at Emily Dickinson through her poetry. Tickets are available for purchase in advance from Brown Paper Ticket and at the door.

The company’s next production will be “Steel Magnolias,” set for the end of January and first part of February. Tickets for the production are available Dec. 5. Six women are the lead actors in the production.

A New Year’s Eve gala, also a fundraiser for Black Dirt Theater, is scheduled for the banquet room above Premier Bank. There will be food, champagne, wine, and beer. Throughout the evening there will comedy improv, games. Ticket prices are $30 per person. They are available now.