Aug 29, 2023

New 'Catalyst Theater' to open in Rapid City

RAPID CITY, S.D. - Rapid City has a large and vibrant performing arts community, but outlets for live arts and entertainment took a hit during the pandemic.

A group of local actors founded the new catalyst theater to provide a space to meet a demand that continues to grow post-COVID.

Stephanie Schumacher, board member and graphic designer for the Catalyst Theater Company said, "We thought, ‘What are we good at? What can we do for our community to try to mend what happened over the last couple [of] years and just create that community?’ and for us, it was forming a theater company."

Schumacher said that connection is what brings people to theater whether they are acting, behind the scenes, or in the audience.

Bringing that community together is the main driving force behind starting the theater.

Joanna Lawler, President of the board of directors for the Catalyst Theater Company said, "I think what's helped us is that we’re all really motivated and excited to start this new theater and bring people together. And we’ve already had so much support from so many people in the community, which has really helped us keep going towards our next step."

In addition to providing live entertainment the theater company also hopes to spark conversations in the Rapid City community, a goal that is built right into the theater's name.

Arika Beals, Vice President of the board of directors for the Catalyst Theater Company said, "We really feel like this community has the raw materials and the energy to create change and it just needs a little spark, and that's the definition of a catalyst for drama people, so that's why we chose that name."

The theater has already announced its first season and has chosen a wide variety of plays to help it stand out.

Rodger Hartley, Treasurer for the Catalyst Theater Company said, "We want it to be modern and eclectic. Our first season, we’re doing two dramas, two comedies, a straight-up musical, and a Christmas show. We want to do theater that both people who are just getting into the theater will appreciate, but also people who have been fans of theater for their entire lives."

The curtains go up on the Catalyst's first show on August 25 and auditions will take place later this month.

More information about the Catalyst Theater and links to donate are available at