The Missoula Children’s Theatre production of Rapunzel featured 35 child performers from Valley County and the surrounding area at The Golden Husk Theater in August 2016.

Historic Landmark Fosters Cultural Experiences

Raising the Bar | Strong and Vibrant Communities | February 2018

Last year the Ord High School Band opened for The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra.

“The Glenn Miller Orchestra invited our student musicians on stage to play the finale In The Mood,” Hagge says. “The crowd went crazy!  It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for our kids.”

Peter Kiewit Foundation (PKF) awarded the Valley Performing Arts Theater (VPAT) a $25,000 grant in September 2016 to support renovation and equipment upgrades for The Golden Husk Theater in Ord, Nebraska.

A 1928 historic landmark on Ord’s downtown square, the Ord Theater sat empty and unused for two years. In 2015, the VPAT Board purchased the building, renaming it The Golden Husk Theater, with a vision in mind. It serves as a hub for engaging creative resources, empowering community connection, and enriching quality of life for communities throughout Valley County and surrounding areas.

“The opportunity to complete renovations and technology upgrades has enhanced our ability to host diverse performances and attract exceptional artists to our theater,” says Dahn Hagge, director of the VPAT /The Golden Husk Theater. In December 2016 the UNL Opera performed Amahl and the Night Visitor, engaging 17 local vocalists as the Shepherds Chorus. Last year, the Ord High School Band opened for The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra. “The Glenn Miller Orchestra invited our student musicians on stage to play the finale In The Mood,” Hagge says. “The crowd went crazy!  It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for our kids.”

Guest artists and performers are invited to stay in town an extra day to allow for presentations and learning opportunities in local community schools and at the Theater when possible. In October, The Golden Husk Theater hosted the Nebraska Shakespeare on Tour performance of Romeo and Juliet. On the previous day, they presented a free performance for over 250 Ord junior and senior high school students followed by a question and answer discussion. Students were also given the opportunity to participate in three workshops led by Nebraska Shakespeare representatives.

“Educational workshops are essential to offering youth meaningful arts and cultural experiences in rural Nebraska,” Hagge says. “You can see their eyes light up and visions become bolder as they discover their dreams are possible.”

Often, youth and community members are given the opportunity to interact with artists, performers, and directors which enables relationship building and connections for future endeavors.

“Extending hospitality to visiting artists and patrons is a priority in our community. We welcome artists into our homes and encourage all visitors to enjoy our wonderful local amenities, providing a warm, friendly experience,” Hagge says. “So now they are calling us and asking to come back! This would not happen without the Theater and our welcoming community.”

The goal is to host one live performance, show one family-friendly movie, and host community events every month. Local businesses and donors sponsor family movie nights, keeping ticket prices at $5 each and concessions at $1 or less. “The sponsorship program is one example of the power of community partnerships to enhance our quality of life as well as preserve our historic Theater and the vibrancy of our downtown square,” Hagge says.

The Golden Husk Theater serves as a hub for engaging creative resources, empowering community connection, and enriching quality of life for communities throughout Valley County and surrounding areas.