CHADRON – The Post Playhouse at Fort Robinson is observing its 50th season this weekend. Chadron State College, the theatre department and many alumni and former faculty are tied to the origins of the small, summer theatre in northwest Nebraska. The public is invited to a 50th celebration July 21-22 at Fort Robinson.
Many CSC graduates who went on to become speech and theatre teachers began their careers at the Post Playhouse, in addition to others who went on to become professional actors.
Retired teacher and CSC alumna Jane Rice of Chadron recalls fond memories at the Post Playhouse in the summer of 1982.
“I had one of the best times in my life participating in the 16th season at the Post Playhouse,” Rice said. “Fred Wheeler and John Lurvey were both like family. My two crazy, talented uncles with big booming voices.”
She served as ticket office/business manager, sang and danced in performances, appeared in the melodrama, “He Done Her Wrong,” and acted in the touring children’s theatre adaptation of “I Didn’t Know That,” a humorous show about numerous world’s records and unusual happenings.
Rice said her courses in art and theatre prepared her well for responsibilities at the Post Playhouse. In turn, the experiences at the Post Playhouse prepared her to later direct community plays and high school plays.
Kim Huckfeldt, a veteran of the Post Playhouse in the 1970s, recalled the remuneration for Chadron State College actors in her era: college credit, a noon meal at the Corner Café in Crawford and a world of experience.
“We built the sets, ran the lights, made the costumes, acted, the whole works,” she said. “It was very tiring, but I’d go back and do it again in a minute if I had a chance.”
—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator