Grand Opera House


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The Grand is a Cultural Leadership Partner of the Iowa Arts Council.


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Lend Your Talents to a GRAND Effort!

Although we host a wide variety of performances, the Grand Opera House is also a community theater. We value our wonderful volunteer actors, singers and dancers. But, there are many others ways you can participate as a volunteer.

Ushers: This dedicated corps of volunteers assemble in the theater about one hour before curtain time. They take tickets & direct patrons to their proper seats. Then, they settle back to enjoy the show. At intermission, they are available to answer patrons' questions. After the show, ushers do a basic cleanup of the auditorium and go home with the satisfaction that they've helped sustain the operation of our historic theater and enjoyed a good show for free. Ushers must be neat, friendly and have the ability to always project a happy, positive image of the Grand for all our patrons. Remember the customer is always right, even if they're wrong. Chris Schmitz, our box office manager also assists with ushers. Helen Kilburg supervises and trains the house managers. Our current roster of ushers includes:Shirley Armstrong,John Berning,Ellen Berning,Don Biermann,Janet Biermann,Marcie Blum,Gerri Ceru, Sharon Chapman,Ruth Driscoll,Marilyn Drozda,Chris Dunn,Slobhan Dunn,Charlotte Enright, Karmen Ferguson,Kasia Gneiser,Robert Gneiser,Elizabeth Gneiser,Carol Guerdet,Judy Hamilton,JoLyn Hannan,Bob Haverland,Peg Helling,Lila Hellman,Judy Hermsen,Judy Herr,Joan Johnson,Randy Judge,Pat Judge,Kathi Kelly,Tim Kelly,Sue Kelly,Chad Kruse, Rebecca Kruse, Bill Leibfried,Joan Leibold,Terry Liebold,Yvonne McKeon,Annah Miller, John Miller, Susan Miller, Maria Miller,Rosie Neuman,Donna Nuti,Josh Nuti,Bob Oberfoell,Becky Oberfoell,Dorothy Jo Oberfoell,Jim Ott,Theresa Ott,Sandy Pfab,Richard Pfab,Ginny Rauch,Joy Reuter,Pat Richey, Zachary Russell,Karen Scheckel,Allen Scheckel,Mary Ann Schrieber,Allan Schoer,Larry Schueller,Eilenn Schueller,Mike Sievers,Mary Ann Sievers,Andrew Slade,Jillian Slade,Terry Slade,Steve Slade,Harriet Stork,Christian Tebbe,Jeff Tebbe,Bob Thompson,Bette Thompson, Norma Treanor,Inez Turnmeyer,Enid Wysocki,Nancy Zillig.

Concessions: This group also meets one hour before curtain time to sell candy, soda, bottled water and popcorn. Can you make change and project a warm and friendly attitude to our patrons? Then you'd probably make a good concession stand volunteer. Joan Mest supervises our concession stand volunteers. She would be happy to visit with you if you're interested. Our current roster of concession workers includes:Joan Boge,Kathie Kelly,Lori Kelsey,Mary Konrardy,Roger Konrardy,Janelle Radoff,Bev Rech,Mike Rooney,Tansy Rooney.

Props: Lynda Mackie is in charge of properties (props) for Grand Productions. She researches scripts and then searches through our prop room, second hand stores, etc. for the items she needs. Lynda would love to have your assistance. Call the Grand for more information on how you can help.

Technical Assistance: Working under the supervision of Tracey Richardson, our technical director, many volunteers are needed for set construction and painting, spot lights, sound board and as back stage crew. Some of these jobs require previous experience, but a willingness to learn and take direction is the most important part of these volunteer duties. The Tech crew currently includes: Whitney Arnold, Michelle Blanchard, Rob Coe, Ryan Decker,
Steven Dobihal, Dan Haggerty, Jr., EmJ Jackle Hugh, Kristin Look, Alex McCarthy, Bridget Walsworth, Kylie Weitz, & Rachel Wendt

Costumes: The Grand has thousands of costumes, but many more are created for individual shows. If you like to sew or design clothing, Gloria Fitzpatrick, our costume supervisor would love to visit with you. Donations of clothing are always welcome. Please call before you bring items to the Grand.

Publicity: Our publicity in newspaper, billboards and TV is done professionally, but we welcome help in designing and distributing posters. If you're qualified and interested, we would appreciate your assistance. Megan Gloss leads this committee. We always welcome new ideas to generate publicity for the Grand.

Contact the business office at (563) 588-4356 for more information

The Grand is always looking for new persons to participate as directors, actors, costumers, stage hands,technical assistance and virtually all phases of the theater. In many cases no experience is necessary. Your interest, enthusiasm and dedication are of primary importance. There are positions that require a high level of experience.


To direct a production at the Grand a college major or minor in theater or a substantial resume of successful productions where you were the primary director is essential. Our patrons and contributors expect a level of quality that is generally achieved only under the leadership of experienced and highly qualified direction.  

A director must have great communication, organization and leadership skills. The director must keep everyone involved informed about what to do and when to do it. Theatre is a team project and the director is the project leader.

A director is the brain that starts everything and keeps it going. Organizing auditions, rehearsals, set design, costume and prop design, along with about a thousand other tasks in a very finite schedule leading up to opening night and the closing night takes a lot of work, planning, and organization.

Musical Director:

The complex nature of musical direction likewise requires a person with a major or minor degree in music or a substantial resume of successful productions. The music director teaches the singers their parts, and then coaches them in the phrasing, pacing and intent of each song. The Music Director hires and rehearses the orchestra musicians and very often plays in the pit. In some productions the Musical Director accompanies during the rehearsals of a production, but many times a dedicated rehearsal accompanist is hired for that purpose. The Music Director must work closely with the Director, Choreographer, and Producer.

The choreographer creates and arranges the dances in a musical production and works closely with the Director and Musical Director to form an artistic whole. The choreographer auditions performers and teaches them a dance at rehearsals. A good choreographer works in all forms of dance, including classical ballet, modern, tap, jazz, folk, ethnic, and ballroom. They must be knowledgeable not only about dance techniques but also about music, costumes, lighting, and drama. This is a highly skilled position. Choreographers are usually former dancers with years of experience working in the theater or with dance companies. A college degree in dance is preferred, but not required. It is very important for choreographers to help the actors/dancers develop their sense of rhythm and their understanding of the music. A good choreographer has self-discipline, patience, commitment, and perseverance and the ability to train persons with varying levels of talent. The choreographer must remember that this is community theater, but we expect it to be very good community theater.


Who May Audition?

Anyone may audition for a Grand Opera House production. All performers are
volunteers. Some come to the Grand Opera House with a lot of experience—others are first-timers. No experience is required. All roles are cast from the broadest ethnic

When Are Auditions?

Auditions are generally scheduled five to seven weeks prior to a show's opening. You need only audition once, but are welcome to attend both evenings. Sometimes additional nights will be used for "call-backs." We normally audition one show at a time.

How Are Auditions Conducted?

For non-musicals auditioners are usually asked to read scenes from the script. Depending on the nature of the production, the director may ask everyone to read the same scene or may have a number of scenes to read. Directors also utilize improv exercises in some auditions. At the audition, the director is looking for general characteristics, technique, and the ability to work with others. In musicals we often will break the auditions into separate dance and singing components. Depending on the nature of the show, the music director may specify certain audition pieces for individual roles and provide sheet music ahead of time for auditioners
to prepare. Other times, the music director will teach the music at the auditions and therefore no preparation is needed. For big dance shows, we will often schedule a dance workshop prior to auditions in order to prepare.

Preparing to Audition

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the script ahead of time. Scripts are
available from the Grand's business office and may be checked out for three-day periods. Feel free to talk with the director prior to auditions to ask about the play and what is being looked for in various roles. Keep an open mind and try not to "pre-cast" yourself. Be enthusiastic-when the director asks for volunteers, jump right in. Remember that perfection is not expected at auditions, so have fun!


A typical rehearsal schedule is 7 to 9:00 pm Monday through Thursday and 2 to 4 pm
Sundays. Non-musicals generally rehearse four or five weeks, musicals will rehearse 6 to 8 weeks. Depending on your role, you may not be required to attend every rehearsal the first few weeks.