top of page

Olde Towne Dinner Theatre kicks off their 40th season

By Wendy Sweeter,


Olde Towne Dinner Theatre executive director Megan Bakken and artistic director John Boe are excited for the theatre’s 40th season in Worthing. Photo: Wendy Sweeter

For 40 years, audiences have been making their way to Worthing for a night of theatre and dinner.

Olde Towne Dinner Theatre kicked off its 40th season last weekend with a murder mystery - And Then There were None by Agatha Christie. The theatre produces four productions every year with more than 70 performances throughout the year.

When it got its start in the summer of 1982, a group of people from Worthing started with an audience of less than 20 and put on two performances. They used the main lobby of the building where the bar area is currently.

Eventually the man who owned the building let them have the building for free. That building used to be a furniture store. The building where the office is used to be a grocery store and the store used to cater the meal. Now the theatre has both buildings.

Today, they can comfortably seat 100 and have about 8,500 people come to shows throughout the year.

“It’s an old building so there are definitely some quirks. Some things you learn to live with and some things we have to keep putting money into because it is a 140ish year old building,” said John Boe, artistic director.

“It’s got some character. We give it some love,” said Megan Bakken, executive director.

Boe and Bakken have been involved with the theatre for many years. While Bakken has only been the executive director for the last six months, she has done 13 shows since 2007 and has been coming to the theatre since middle school.

Boe did his first show in 2005 and started working there in 2006 before moving away for a couple of years. In 2012, he became the artistic director.

In order to pull off their productions, they draw talent from Sioux Falls and the surrounding area but also Vermillion and Inwood, Iowa. Those actors practice five nights a week for six weeks before a production begins.

The shows for the rest of season include 2 Across for their Christmas show, Leading Ladies for their winter show and The Movie Game for their spring show.

“We do a lot of comedies but at least one show a year we want to do something different, whether it’s a murder mystery or a musical. Our audiences really like the comedies,” Boe said.

In addition to the show, patrons also receive a soup and salad, choice of steak, chicken or fish, sides and a dessert. For this show, the head cook incorporated red into all parts of the meal to celebrate the 40th anniversary, which is typically the ruby anniversary.

Their shows are made possible by volunteers and support of the community. The actors, cast, crew, wait staff and bartenders are all volunteers.

“I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s the heart and soul of it (Worthing). To me at least, it’s what Worthing is,” Bakken said.

To volunteer, buy tickets or check the show schedule, go to


bottom of page