Burgraff named executive director of Black Hills Playhouse

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota and the Black Hills Playhouse Board of Directors announced today that Michael P. Burgraff was named executive director of the Black Hills Playhouse.

With nearly two decades of experience in the theatre industry, Burgraff brings his vast knowledge of the industry to the Black Hills Playhouse where he will oversee production and day-to-day operations of the 62-year-old playhouse in Rapid City, S.D. He comes to the Black Hills Playhouse after serving as managing director of the Fairmont Opera House in Fairmont, Minn., for more than 10 years.

"Michael was selected out of a strong pool of candidates during a national search," noted Daniel Guyette, dean of the College of Fine Arts. "He’s the ideal person to lead the Black Hills Playhouse into the future."

In addition to managing the Fairmont Opera House, Burgraff has had various operational and production responsibilities, including assistant director of operations at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minn., where he coordinated and supervised events for several venues; and as performance facilities manager at Wichita State University where he served as coordinator and supervisor for more than 500 events annually.

"I am honored to be affiliated with South Dakota’s flag ship University. At the west campus we will create the memories of tomorrow while preserving the rich history of the land, culture and theatre that has gained the Black Hills Playhouse a national reputation for excellence," added Burgraff, a former member of the International Association of Auditorium Managers and the United States Institute of Theatre Technology. A photograph of Burgraff is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/Michael_Burgraff.jpg.

The Black Hills Playhouse was founded in 1946 by Dr. Warren (Doc) Lee. A year later, The University of South Dakota began aiding the Playhouse, which also oversees the Children’s Theatre Company of South Dakota. Beginning in June, the Black Hills Playhouse will produce five plays: “Dreams Carved in Stone,” “Urinetown: The Musical,” “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure,” and “The Boys Next Door.” For more about the Black Hills Playhouse, including ticket information, reservations and discount opportunities, please visit www.blackhillsplayhouse.com/.