Welcome to the BHP Alumni Association
The Black Hills Playhouse Alumni Association (BHPAA) was first formed in 1980. After several dormant years, the organization was re-formed in 1994 as a separate, not-for-profit corporation in South Dakota. People are members by virtue of their association with the Black Hills Playhouse as a company or board member. There is no membership fee.
Since its earliest inception, the BHPAA has organized reunions to bring new and old alums together. With its reformation, it has organized and executed several major projects for the good of the BHP. The first project of the re-formed group was to organize the 50th Anniversary BHP Alumni Reunion in July 1995 which was attended by over 300 alumni and patrons. As part of the celebration, the BHPAA raised $60,000 to build Haberman Hall.
This log structure on the Playhouse campus now serves as a social gathering place for patrons and company members, as well as a company rehearsal and workspace. It was dedicated to Hap and Ellie Haberman (veterans of almost 50 years at the Playhouse) in honor of ALL of the alums who have worked over the years to bring high quality theatre to audiences in the Black Hills.
In July of 2005, the BHPAA organized a 60th Anniversary BHP Alumni Reunion and raised $5,000 to purchase new equipment for the scene and costume shops. The group also raised funds and produced "Stage Directions: 60 Years with the Black Hills Playhouse," a documentary covering the history and operations of six decades at the BHP.
Other projects include assistance in purchasing the air conditioning and heating in the theater, regular newsletters and maintenance of the alumni database. The BHPAA was instrumental in helping the BHP succeed in the effort to retain its location in Custer State Park, advocating for its importance as a state cultural institution and raising almost $100,000 for its Get Back in the Park campaign in 2011. In 2012 the group produced "Party Pieces," an alumni show that raised $25,000 for a new grand drape for the stage.
The BHPAA most recently organized the 70th Anniversary Celebration July 10-12, 2015 and raised $70,000 to help purchase new lighting and sound systems in the theater.