Meet MACT member Bemidji Community Theater

Bemidji Community Theatre logo

Bemidji Community Theater (BCT), a non-profit corporation, debuted in December of 1981 when a group of friends recorded A Christmas Carol and broadcast it via radio. The first live performance occurred in conjunction with Art in the Park in 1982 with a public reading of Dirty Work at the Crossroads. After that, BCT was off and running.

In 2018, BCT purchased the old “Book World” building in downtown Bemidji and re-named it The Bemidji Community Theater Performing Arts Center.

The BCT Performing Arts Center at 316 Beltrami Avenue NW, Bemidji, MN, located next to the Chief Theater, established a new “theater district” in the downtown area, which paved the way for year-round performing arts.

Routine business and choice of a season are handled by a board of 6-12 Directors, with input from the general membership at an annual meeting. Management questions for each show are made by the Production Manager and the Director of that show. The Board meets once a month at the Bemidji Community Theater Performing Art Center.

BCT has produced shows in a variety of venues. Their first on stage production in 1982 of Friends & Lovers, which included a scene from Neil Simon’s California Suite and The Doctor in Spite of Himself by Moliere, was at JW Smith Elementary School. Since then, they have utilized several different venues from BSU’s Bridgeman Hall and Hagg-Sauer room 100 to a tent near Paul & Babe; BCT has continued to thrive in any element.

Musicals were sporadic for a time but have now become a mainstay of their offerings. In 1991, BCT produced their first musical Anything Goes. Over the years, more people joined the group to share their time, talents, and interests. From acting and directing, to designing and building scenery, to advertising and selling tickets, community members work side-by-side learning new skills and passing on the ones they have.

BCT prides itself in encouraging local people to produce theater for the local community. New members are always welcome, whether they choose to be involved in only one show or active for the next 40 seasons.

The final show in BCT’s 2023-24 season will be Agatha Christie’s “A Murder is Announced, performing July 12 – 21.

BCT’s mission is “To provide theater education and an opportunity for people to pursue their interests in theater through acting and stagecraft support activities, in productions by and for community members.”