Northern Fort Playhouse bounces back after pandemic

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Returning for it’s 15th season at Fort Sisseton, the Northern Fort Playhouse is back on state, and back from the pandemic.

The playhouse didn’t run last year due to the pandemic. And although Program Director Pam Lunzman said they were nervous what their turnout would be when they came back, they’ve seen a strong attendance to their shows so far.

“Guidelines suggested that we cancel that. We’ve had great attendance every performance that we’ve had. Generally our Sunday’s are slow, and they haven’t been this year. So we’ve been really appreciative for people that have come out.” said Lunzman.

That strong turnout is also helped by the increase in attendance state parks are seeing across the state, especially at Fort Sisseton the previous summer.

“It’s been very interesting to see our attendance actually increase, even during COVID, and even during this year because people are getting outside and families getting together again.” said Fort Sisseton Historical State Park Manager Ali Tonsfeldt.

Lunzman said the playhouse was originally meant to get more people out to visit Fort Sisseton and provide shows out in a more rural part of the region. And she said with this year’s support, they hope to continue that mission for years to come.

“That was the purpose, was to get this secret hideaway out known to people, and let people see what an amazing fort this really is.” said Lunzman.

The playhouse has it’s final performance Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

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