In Lead, the Historic Homestake Opera House's $7 million restoration project is going very slow, as funds keep running out. But, that's not stopping the community from trying to uphold the theater's tradition, and go on with the show.
Thirteen-year-old, Trish Martin says she loves to sing and act.
"I like being able to project myself and make a difference and let people be able to know me," Martin said.
So, she's glad to be part of the nearly century-old Historic Homestake Opera House tradition, and its first community theater production in 25 years, 'Fiddler on the Roof.'
"I think it's great that they're doing more shows at the opera house because this place must have been beautiful before, and if we could get it back to its former beauty, that would be great," Martin said.
More shows mean more funds. But, opera house staff need to install professional heat, sound and lighting systems to produce them.
"Our immediate goal is to try to get the lights up, get the sound in and to just make this the greatest thing you know that's happened to the city of Lead since before 1983," Jim O'Grady, the Homestake Opera House Society executive director, said.
O'Grady needs between $70,000 and $80,000 to do it, and the $4,000 the Lead City Commission just appropriated to hire a grant writer is appreciated, but still not enough.
"This system that we're putting in will allow us to do any type of production that could happen in this opera house. All the way from bands coming and performing, to musicals, to theatrical plays," O'Grady said.
With or without sound and lighting, the more than 40 cast members will go on with the show.
"This show, more than any other that the city of Lead could have chosen, is a show that builds that spirit of togetherness, of community, of struggle and the desire to make life better," Donna Fjelstad, the director said.
And, just like the characters in ‘Fiddler on the Roof' fought to keep their traditions alive, they'll fight to keep the opera house tradition alive.
"When this opera house was open in 1914, it was the center of the community life, the center of Lead and as a tradition there are so many people in this community that want to bring it back, to have this their place to come once again," O'Grady said.
The ‘Fiddler' set they're using has traveled around South Dakota and been used for more than three other ‘Fiddler' productions.
‘Fiddler on the Roof' runs May 2 through 4 and May 9 through 11. Call the Homestake Opera House at (605) 584-2067 for more information.