“home to the Willa Cather foundation”
Built in 1885, the Red Cloud Opera House figured prominently in the life of author Willa Cather, who grew up in Red Cloud. It is now the home to the Willa Cather Foundation offices, Gallery, Cather Bookstore, and Auditorium. The newly renovated Red Cloud Opera House auditorium transports visitors back in time to set the mood, scene, and tone of the 1890s, when Willa Cather and her friends eagerly anticipated the arrival of traveling productions such as The Bohemian Girl and The Mikado. As Cather herself put it, "Only real people speaking the lines can give us that feeling of living along with them, of participating in their existence." In Willa Cather's day, performers signed the backstage wall - a tradition that continues today. Willa Cather delivered her high school graduation address from the Red Cloud Opera House stage in 1890. A full schedule of performances once again animates the Red Cloud Opera House Auditorium, and a new generation of visitors to the Opera House can appreciate "real people speaking the lines." Many individuals and organizations support the Red Cloud Opera House in various ways, including more than 60 volunteers who act as ushers, bartenders, hosts, and much more. The Red Cloud Opera House auditorium, gallery, meeting room, and kitchenette may be reserved for meetings, weddings, receptions, holiday parties, and other private functions. Browse our fee schedule. Reservations must be made at the Willa Cather Foundation.
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Red Cloud Opera House
- Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Sun: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
- Mon - Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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