Lesmis

Long Live Community Theater

CFNEIA
July 14, 2016
Waterloo Community Playhouse and Black Hawk Children's Theater, 2015 Grant Recipient

Many things have changed in Waterloo over the past 100 years, but one key community asset continues to reflect its vibrant culture. The Waterloo Community Playhouse and Black Hawk Children’s Theater remains the mainstay of live, local theater. 


For its 100th season, the nonprofit is producing six shows and four children’s shows. These 10 performances will showcase the region's best artistic talents while featuring some of the best theater from the last 100 years. 


“We want the audience to walk away with more than they came in with. It can be lightening their load by an evening’s entertainment. It can be highlighting a piece of history they hadn’t thought about. It can be resolving an emotional situation in a play that brings some comfort to their life,” said Norman Ussery, Executive Director.


The audience is just part of the focus. The local volunteers on and off stage embark on a journey that instills courage and community. 


“We’re providing the opportunity to have a creative experience together. We bring people from different walks of life together to interact and that’s a very important part of what makes community theater.”


This type of live entertainment is more than a service, it reflects a community. 


“We serve the community, both the people who are coming in as participants and those who are coming in as the audience. We are their voice, we are a reflection of them, of their values and interests.” 


For 100 years, audiences have liked what they see in the mirror of Iowa’s oldest community theater.