The Sioux Empire Community Theatre is hitting the road for Mitchell this weekend.
The Sioux Falls-based, all-volunteer theater group will show its performance of "Steel Magnolias," with a 7 p.m. Saturday show and a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee at the Mitchell School District’s Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $25 per person.
Sioux Empire Community Theatre Executive Director Robin Byrne said the connection with Mitchell was made through the lead architect of the Mitchell PAC, Robin Miller, the founder and CEO of MSH Architects in Sioux Falls.
“We thought this would be a good show to take on tour,” said Byrne, which led to additional road shows in Madison, Dell Rapids and at the Icon Center in Sioux Falls.
Byrne said taking the show on the road meant completely revamping and rebuilding the set, and also re-doing the blocking and stage directions for the cast of the show.
“When we first designed the set, we hadn’t planned on the traveling show, so we have had to adapt and re-block the entire show and that’s increased our costs,” he said.
Byrne, executive director of the organization since July 1, said he’s hopeful that the Sioux Empire Community Theatre group can expand its reach and work in collaboration with other area community theaters in the future, including the Mitchell Area Community Theatre.
As for "Steel Magnolias," the play is about the bond a group of women share in a small town, becoming tightly knit friends who love each other through thick and thin.
“It’s often described as the funniest show to ever make you cry,” Byrne said. “It’s brilliantly written and there are moments of genuine and heartbroken sadness, broken up by even more comedy.”
Byrne said the show was previously Sioux Empire’s most successful and profitable show until recently being surpassed by its production of "Mamma Mia!" The show’s cast includes ex-professional actresses that are all based in the region.
“It is a really exceptional crew, and it’s a show that I would be very comfortable standing up against any professional show that you’d see around the region,” Byrne said.