New Frontier Theatre

We are performing all shows outside in 2021 in an outdoor performance area.


For the 75th season of the Black Hills Playhouse (BHP), we  are producing the season in a different way, but with a nod to the past. From 1947-1950, the BHP performed in a tent near Legion Lake called the Frontier Theatre. Forced by the hand of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the board and staff of the BHP have worked to ensure the safety of artists and patrons in this challenging time by creating a new outdoor performing space to debut summer 2021. The New Frontier Theatre, a name born of pragmatism and nostalgia, represents meeting this challenge, but also an opportunity for future performing arts programs at the BHP.

Our primary concern was getting back to performing in the Park, but also making sure that our company of artists and audiences stay healthy throughout the season. If our artists get sick, we won't have a season! Because of the need to maintain social distance in our living spaces, our company is very small, approximately 40 individuals, making it even more imperative that we do our best to keep everyone healthy. Another top concern are individuals who are most vulnerable i.e. children of artists on the campus and people with health issues that prevent them from getting vaccinations.

The seating plan we have landed on works for people who want to be socially distanced and masked as well as those who prefer a mask-optional section. Check out the seating chart HERE.

NFT Team

We give a huge round of applause to BHP alum, Chris Jones, of CDJ Creative Services for his design of the performing space. The NFT crew and BHP Physical Plant Committee have put in countless hours to make this a reality for the 2021 Season


BHP Physical Plant Committee                    BHP Alum NFT Crew

Rick Giesel, Chair                                           Chris Jones, CDJ Creative Services

Gary Merkel                                                    Scott Mollman, University of South Dakota 

Don Massa                                                      Jonathan Allender-Zivic, University of South Dakota

Monni Karim                                                   Victor Shonk, University of South Dakota

Ron Jeffries                                                    John Utter, Technical Director, Black Hills Playhouse                 

Charolyn Mize                                                 Chris Haug, Amber Marisa Cook, SE Missouri State University

Randy Niles (staff liaison)                              Dan Workman, Artistic Director BHP

                                                                          Randy Niles, Associate Director BHP

*special thanks to Gene Fennell

who helped with preliminary design ideas


We are eternally grateful to NFT Donors & Funders     


Mark & Carolyn Mollers

John T. Vucurevich Foundation

Black Hills Area Community Foundation Black Hills By Choice Donors

Black Hills Energy

Meg & Loyd Garrison

Mike & Marnie Gould

Jeff Kingsbury


Karen & Scott McGregor

DeElda McPherson

Charolyn & Phil Mize

Vest Lund in memory of Vida Bernard

Ron, Marion, & Kathy Reed



Adam Boggs, (fill dirt)

Black Hills Energy (power poles, lumber, installation)

Central States Fair (stage, risers)

Custer Area School District (chairs)

Gene Fennell (preliminary design)

Chris Jones CDJ Creative Services (current / final design)

Scull Construction (lift)

Jorgenson Log Homes (skid steer)