The South Bend Civic Theatre recently kicked off the 2014 season with a wonderfully hilarious production of the Ken Ludwig farce “Leading Ladies.” The folks at SBCT were kind enough to invite me out to take in a performance, and fill me in about their ongoing efforts to bring top notch community theatre to South Bend. The performance was spot on, with many unexpected laughs and great local talent taking on the roles fearlessly. After gaining a little more knowledge about the Civic Theatre during my visit, it seems apparent that such productions are a staple of their program, and they won’t be going anywhere any time soon.
SBCT is consistently ranked as one of the top community theatre programs in the country, with a vast pool of talent, beautiful facilities, plenty of community volunteers, and a budget that allows for excellent set design and production. The historic building in downtown South Bend which the Civic Theatre calls home was built in 1916. It has had many uses over the years, but when SBCT took the building over in 2007, the true potential of the space began to shine. The theater boasts two performance spaces; the 209 seat Mainstage Auditorium and the 90 seat black box studio. There’s also a wonderfully renovated and spacious lobby, gigantic scene shop, and much more!
In addition, the Civic Theatre offers educational programs for theatre lovers from pre-school kids to high schoolers and adults. The program’s goal is to “make theatre and theatre training accessible and affordable to any passionate student.” As part of these programs, K-12 students get to try their hand on stage with SBCT’s Kids4Kids productions, which provide day-time performances, and allows children all over the community a chance to experience the theatre. And who knows… we may just see some of these students on stage in future SBCT productions.
The South Bend Civic Theatre, which is a constant winner of industry accolades, is a wonderful (and affordable) way to experience theatre right in our community. It boasts 95%+ capacity crowds annually. With new productions starting every few weeks, it’s easy to get your hands on tickets for a show that is sure to please, so quit procrastinating and get yours now!