Simplified: The Sioux Empire Community Theatre has a new name, a new season-long sponsor and a new lease on life after rebounding from significant debt.

Tell me more

The community theater company will now be called "The Premiere Playhouse."

First Premier Bank will be the company's season sponsor for the next four years, marking the first time the company has had a full-season sponsor, said Robin Byrne, executive and artistic director.

The bank isn't sponsoring the new name, Byrne said. The premiere/premier similarity is a confusing coincidence.

"We will still be looking for organizations to sponsor individual shows," he added.

Why it matters

  • In 2018, the theater company was facing six-figure debt, leadership changes and cuts to both budgets and shows.
  • Today, debts are on track to being paid, and the theater company is focusing on a more professional approach, according to Byrne.
"The idea, ultimately, is that we are a professional theater company that serves the community ... We're giving everybody the same opportunity that we've always given them," Byrne said, "but we're doing it better than ever before."

What other changes are coming?

  • The First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard partnership also means fundraising help for the Playhouse, Byrne said, and the bank will host an annual fundraising event for the theater company.
  • The rebrand also comes in the months after the community theater was also awarded a $20,000 grant from the Sioux Area Community Foundation to establish an Arts District with space for collaboration among theater groups in the city.

What happens next?

The premiere show for the Premiere Playhouse premieres Sept. 23 at the Belbas Theater in the Washington Pavilion. (Yes, I did have fun writing that.)

"Blood Brothers" is a musical set in Liverpool in the 1960s following the story of fraternal twins separated at birth.

Tickets are on sale now at the Washington Pavilion box office or starting Monday at the community theater's new website:

The Playhouse returns to the Orpheum Theater in December for what Byrne said will be an impressive, professional-quality production of "A Christmas Carol."

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