Volunteers Helping Finish NorShor Theatre Before Feb. 1 Opening

Amy Adamle
January 07, 2018 10:34 PM

The NorShor Theatre's history is a rich one filled with change.  

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"This is something that's been around for I think its 100 years," Shad Olsen, part of the administrative staff for Duluth Playhouse, said. 

It opened in 1910 as the Orpheum and it's struggled through the test of time, but in 2010 the City of Duluth purchased it and now it's nearing the end of a long restoration project.

"It's taken about a year and a half of construction," Olsen said.  

It's come together with the help of many community members giving their time.

"We've gone through our rehearsal studios on the third floor and now we're into our playhouse offices on the second floor doing our own paint job," Olsen said.  "We've got a nice group of volunteers that have donated a lot of time and made it look beautiful."

The renovations are bringing new life to the previously rundown historic landmark.

"It was scary and really rundown and a creepy place to wander around by yourself, but I just walked in and got to see the seats in the theater and now it's real you know, it's beautiful," Olsen, who will also star in the first show, said.

He said they're saving the reveal of the theater for it's debut on opening night.

"We're just making sure everything is on track for opening," Kelley Schroeder, the assistant stage manager for Mamma Mia, said. "Everything is just surprisingly coming together really well."

Mamma Mia is their first show on February 1 and they say they're already close to selling out.

"There are actually no two seats together left on the main floor," Olsen said.  "We still have upper balcony seats, available so if you want to get those you have to jump on them like yesterday."

When it all comes together, it will be something everyone can be proud of.

"To be able to put my mark on it and being like, 'Oh, I painted this room or I saw that get put up,' it's been very satisfying and it's a big sense of community, because everybody's putting in a lot of work, it just means a lot," Schroeder said. 

"It's going to be a really, really special show," Olsen said. 

The Duluth Playhouse will start moving in next week in for rehearsals for opening night.  If you're interested in buying tickets to one of their first shows, click here.


Amy Adamle

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