In the summer of 1991, a small group of individuals conceived and formed a plan to start a community theatre in the Cold Spring area. Their first endeavor was to host a variety show with local performers, dedicated to long-time arts supporter and Cold Spring resident Glanville Smith for whom the ROCORI High School Auditorium is named. After the success of that show, a board of directors formed what is now The Great Northern Theatre Company (GNTC).
Our board of directors has strived to keep moving forward while looking at the needs of the community to bring the best theatre experiences to our area. Our mission is to foster, encourage, and develop an appreciation of theatre by enriching the lives of people in Central Minnesota with the power of live performance. Our goal is to create opportunities for children and adults to develop their talents, connect with each other and our audience, and maintain excellence, stewardship, and fiscal integrity.
This year we are faced with unanticipated challenges. Be-
cause of COVID-19, the safety of our participants and our audience was at the forefront and we were forced to cancel the shows and educational opportunities we had planned. It’s still hard to conceive that we would just be finishing up our big summer production right now.
Although no one knows the future of live theatre, we are trying to move forward with plans for our 2021 winter and summer shows. As expected, this will be determined by community health and safety guidelines. At present, we are seeking directors and production team members for our Winter 2021 show “Church Basement Ladies” which we hope to stage in February. If you are interested in applying, please visit the GNTC website at http://gntc1.com and click on “Apply For Production” tab at the top of the page. Please apply by Thursday, Oct. 1.
Our economic future and sustainability is uncertain. Although we have no paid staff members, we do have monthly expenses, regardless of whether we produce shows. These include the rent on a wonderful facility that provides rehearsal space and houses items needed for productions, and administrative expenses like insurance, media, phones, and organization fees. To help defray these costs, we are tapping into as many funding opportunities as possible.
We are asking for your help in sustaining our future as a community-based arts organization. We are holding a Fall raffle that will give you an opportunity to win a prize as well as contribute to our cause.
Please contact GNTC board members and members-at-large to purchase a $10 raffle ticket. The drawing for the winners will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, at Shady’s Longshots at the Rich Spring Golf Course. You do not need to be present to win.
GNTC would like to thank everyone who has attended our performances, participated in them, volunteered your time and resources, or supported us financially. We love being a part of the Central Minnesota community and have enjoyed bringing the magic of theatre to you. We look forward to continuing that relationship as we anticipate a brighter future. Thank you!