Entertainment, Inc! is a non-profit arts organization which was founded in 1981. It is governed by a board of directors who establish policy and are responsible for successfully fulfilling the purpose of the organization which is to provide artistic entertainment, programs, and services and to provide an educational outlet for individuals and groups within the community. We operate out of the Old Armory in Williston, North Dakota. The organization functions primarily as a community theatre and strives to provide high quality entertainment to Western North Dakota and Eastern Montana. Originally established as a choral group, we now present the community with an outstanding selection of plays and musicals. Besides being a community theatre, Entertainment, Inc! has also developed into the leading arts and cultural leader for this region.
Each season, volunteers work alongside our only paid staff member—Artistic and Executive Director. Other artistic and technical staff members are contracted for individual services such as accompanists, set and costume designers, choreographers, production directors, and some carpentry personnel. However, our volunteers are the organization’s main workforce bringing their own energy and creativity to the theatre. An estimated 100 to 150 performers grace our stage each year with 60 to 75 volunteers assisting with the behind-the-scenes duties of a production. Volunteers perform, sew costumes, sell tickets, run lights, build sets, work backstage, etc. Entertainment, Inc!’s productions have often been cited as being of “professional-quality.” This is a direct result of volunteer talent guided by our Artistic Director.
Entertainment, Inc! also offers theatrical education for adults and children interested in the performing arts. By working in conjunction with Williston State College, Entertainment, Inc! has been able to offer college credit to the college’s students enrolled in theatre practicum. Through this alliance, we have jointly produced many productions such as “Diary of Anne Frank,” “Our Town,” and Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Nights Dream” and “Twelfth Night.” Entertainment, Inc! also works with Youth Education on Stage to provide youth within the community the opportunity to learn about the stage and to participate in popular plays and musicals during the summer months.
A season for Entertainment, Inc! begins in September and ends in May of the following year. A season currently consists of five shows, at least one musical and another being a Christmas show. Entertainment, Inc! has also been known to do much more than theatre. Other endeavors Entertainment, Inc! has undertaken include workshops, theatre tours, programs for other arts organizations, fund-raising events, a madrigal feast, etc.
Funding for Entertainment, Inc! is provided by grants on the local and state level, donations, patron and season ticket drives, admission revenue, contracted services, costume and equipment rental, technical services, concessions, and fund-raising events such as bake sales, rummage sales, and dinner theatre catering. We are always exploring additional sources of funding. As one can imagine, creating a season of five productions is an expensive venture. In addition to theatre production, other expenses include space rental, insurance, marketing, office supplies, telephone, internet, web services, and salaries for office personnel and contracted services. Supporting the arts through a donation to Entertainment, Inc! is tax-deductible. If you would like to learn how to help, please click here.
Entertainment, Inc! has always strived to be a valuable part of the community and has done so in the following ways:
- We provide an attraction which draws people to this area.
- All our spending is done locally and those dollars go back into the community sevenfold.
- A large number of performers and audience members are from outlying communities. Their dollars also benefit the community.
- The organization has also been an asset to other organizations in the community, as a resource for technical and artistic services in addition to providing our inventory of props, costumes, music and scenery for their use. Such programs and services have always been available and encouraged for use by and for the benefit of other organizations and institutions in the area in exchange for a small donation to the organization.