‘The Show Must Go On’ for Historic Homestake Opera House in rendition of “Guys and Dolls”
LEAD, S.D. — The Historic Homestake Opera House in Lead is no stranger to holding auditions for the casting of plays and musicals.
Built by the Homestake Mining Company in 1914, The Opera House was once a recreation center with a 1,000 seat theater. It was a pillar in the community of Lead until a fire, determined to have started from bad electrical wiring, consumed the establishment.
“There was a fire here in 1984 which pretty much destroyed this portion of the B Building and collapsed things down into the lower levels,” said Patrick O’Leary, the Executive Director of the Historic Homestake Opera House.
Today, the building is owned and operated by The Historic Homestake Opera House Society.
“A non-profit was formed to restore the building and keep it from being torn down,” O’Leary said.
To keep up with the cost of renovations, the society raises funds by hosting several performing arts events. After a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first open auditions will be held Friday, July 17 for a Broadway comedy called “Guys and Dolls.”
Special accommodations are being made to keep artists healthy.
“We’re asking everybody to wear masks,” O’Leary said. “We will have those available here if you don’t have one yourself. We’ll have handy wipes, hand sanitizers.”
Rehearsals will be held via zoom until the week before the performance. Then during the shows, O’Leary says ticket holders will be asked to sit accordingly.
“If you see behind, me you can kind of see the yellow strips on the chairs,” O’Leary said. “What we’ve done is closed off every other row to help with social distances.”
Opening night of Guys and Dolls will be Friday, October 23.