About the Community Theatre:
The Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre is a non-profit organization established in 1947 to provide entertainment, education and recreation to the region through the opportunity to experience and participate in live theatrical entertainment. We are listed as one of the ten oldest community theatres in the nation ("Millennium Theatres" by Theatre USA).
From 1947 until 1983 performances were held wherever they could find a performance space, mostly halls, churches and hotels. The Westward Ho was one of the most popular venues as the manager of the hotel was very interested in and supportive of community theatre.
In 1982 the organization bought the Number One fire hall from the City of Grand Forks and renovated it into a one hundred seat theatre, The Fire Hall Theatre, opening in 1983. Thus, we became one of the few community theatres in North Dakota, in fact North America, to own its’ own facility. With control of the building, the season was extended to four shows per year starting in September and running until May. Though we call the Fire Hall home, we perform in various community venues, including the Empire Arts Center.
All our actors and crew are volunteers and we'd love you to join our family!
Community Theatre Programming:
The Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre operates three main programming components.
Board of Directors 2019-2020
President: Kirsten Dauphinais (2020 - 2nd term)
UND - School of Law, Professor of Law
Vice President: Amy Driscoll - (2020 - 1st term)
Special Education Teacher - EGF Public School
Secretary: Laura Endres (2020 - 2nd term)
Newman Outdoor Signs, Sales
Treasurer: Jeff Franck (Interim- 2020)
Minnkota Power Coop
Directors: Michelle Senger (2022 - 2nd term)
Frandsen Bank & Trust - Wealth Management
Cindy Edwards (2020 - 2nd term)
Philadelphia Macaroni Co.
Sonia Brumskill (2020 - 1st term)
Pamela Kalbfleisch (2021 - 1st term)
Professor of Communications, UND
Emily Bibow (Interim - 2020)
Public Health Nurse, EGF
About the Fire Hall Theatre:
In the early 1980s, the #1 Fire Hall in Downtown Grand Forks was purchased and renovated into the 100 seat Fire Hall Theatre. The Theatre has served as the home of the Community Theatre since.
In 1997, the region suffered through a terrible flood, and as reported, ther was much concern about the Theatre's ability to recover. With over three feet of water in the building, "the Fire Hall Theatre sustained substantial water damage and some feared the building will be condemned... a determination to be made 'later' by the powers that be. As of May 5 that year, the degree of damage to equipment, costumes, etc. could not be determined because the site could not be visited. The Theatre had to cancel performances and spring fundraising efforts and were short of current operating funds to use for the recovery period." However, the theatre re-opened in September of that year.
The Fire Hall underwent another major change in the Spring of 2008, when the lobby was renovated.
an excerpt from...
"The Beginning: Fire Hall Theatre
by Paul J. Schwartz
"I first became aware of the existence of the Fire Hall at a cast party at Fanny Gershman's house, in October, 1981. Fanny, the widow of Grand Forks' most successful "bottle shop" owner Happy Harry Gershman, was an active board member and generous hostess, who graciously opened her home for parties and fundraising events.
At this particular party, given for the cast and crew of 6 Rooms with a View, I was sitting at some distance from a group dominated by former GGFCT Board Treasurer Rick Winant, which was discussing the Fire Hall, inspired by a Chris Jacobs editorial in the local weekly chronicle.
In that editorial, Chris, who had an active interest in promoting the arts in Grand Forks, suggested that the city should, instead of demolishing the no longer needed fire hall next to City Hall, turn it into an arts center..."
Read the complete story (PDF)
1947 GGFCT established
1983 Fire Hall Theatre acquired
1984 First Production in Fire Hall
1997 Fire Hall under 3 ft. of water following '97 Flood
2004 GGFCT undergoes administrative restructuring
2006 GGFCT acquires production responsibilities for Crimson Creek Players, a regional professional theatre troupe.
2008 Fire Hall Theatre lobby refurbished
2009 New HD Video Projection System Installed
2010 New Sound System installed.
2011 Established Children's Workshops
Replaced 106 year old windows due to Community Development Block Grant
2013 Named Art Organization of the Year by the Governor of ND
2014 Lobby renovated & new carpet installed in theatre
Completed tuck pointing on west wall of theatre
2015 Awarded "Special Recognition Award" by the American Association of Community Theatres
Upgraded lighting dimmers
Completed tuck pointing on east wall of theatre
2016 Received $17,000 grant from Myra Foundation to over haul HVAC system. Completed tuck pointing on Fire Hall Theatre after raising $93,000 in grants and private donations.
2019 Overhauled upstairs costume and prop collection with help of many volunteer hours.
Interested in Joining our Board?
Maybe you have been onstage in productions at the Fire Hall in the past. Maybe you have been a faithful patron and want to see the Fire Hall continue to grow. Maybe you have been a faithful supporter of the arts for some time, but feel like you have something more to give. The good new is - we have a place for you! The Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre has board openings and we would love to visit with you! If you would like to learn more about our board of directors, please send a letter of interest and a brief work history to Board Of Directors; Fire Hall Theatre; 412 2nd Ave N; Grand Forks, ND 58203 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use "Board of Directors" as your subject line. Thanks!