• To provide quality, affordable community theatre accessible to all residents of the Sioux Empire; and
• To provide hands-on learning experiences in the greater Sioux Empire community in all aspects of volunteer-driven theatre performance and production.
Believing that local theatre is vital to the fabric of the community, a number of local theatre enthusiasts began meeting in the Spring of 2003 to explore the possibility of funding a brand-new community theatre. After input from the Sioux Empire Arts Council, the business community, the City of Sioux Falls, and local artists and educators, the Sioux Empire Community Theatre (SECT) was born.
In the summer of 2003, SECT was formally organized and incorporated with the State of South Dakota. A Board of Directors was selected, and at the first board meeting these Board members dipped into their pockets to come up with enough money for a Post Office box. In September 2004, SECT became a 501(C)(3) organization.
Producing Artistic Director: Patrick Pope
Office Coordinator: Leni Healy
Director of Development: DJ Steckelberg
Box Office Coordinator: Kristy Morris
Front of House Volunteer Coordinator: Bob Nelson
Patrick Pope | Producing Artistic Director
Patrick was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and then transplanted into South Dakota. Theatre has always been a constant part of Patrick’s life: he was born into it as the son of Frank Pope who has been acting and directing for as long as Patrick has been alive. Patrick holds a BFA in Theatre with an emphasis in Acting for the University of South Dakota. Theatre has taken him to many places including Minneapolis, MN; Potsdam, Germany; Montpelier, Vt.; Champlain, Vt.; and Monmouth, ME, to name a few. Patrick has found a new love working behind the scenes and has enjoyed working theatrically for Harvard College, The Cotuit Center for the Arts, Granite State Opera, Lost Nation Theatre, The Children’s Theatre Company of Sioux Falls, and the Theatre at Monmouth. Promoting and producing shows at the Sioux Empire Community Theatre for almost 4 years now has become a dream come true. It is always amazing to watch all the pieces come together on a theatrical production. Patrick is also a founding member of the Fishmongers Actors Theatre, a new professional theatre here in Sioux Falls where he gets a chance to act again. Patrick is eternally grateful to his wife Kathryn and son Vincent for letting him keep the hours that he does.
Leni Healy | Office Coordinator
Leni holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and History plus a Master’s Degree in business administration. She acted in numerous plays in high school and college but has since found adequate drama in real life. The first twenty years of her career were dedicated to post-secondary administration. She made the transition to state government where she was the Director of Consumer Affairs for the Public Utilities Commission and the part-time business manager for the Pierre Players. Leni returned to Sioux Falls to become an Associate State Director for AARP South Dakota, a position she has held for fifteen years. Leni has been a part-time SECT employee for the past eight years and currently serves as Office Coordinator. She greatly appreciates the opportunity to be a part of SECT’s theatre magic.
DJ Steckelberg | Director of Development
DJ was born in Yankton, SD to Dob and Diane Steckelberg. While growing up, his family lived in Chamberlain, SD, Pipestone MN, and then again in Yankton where he went to high school. In high school DJ participated in band, debate, football and theatre. After graduation he went to South Dakota State University to study and perform theatre. While at SDSU he was nominated for the Irene Ryan awards for the American Collegiate Theatre Festival several times. He was a company member of Prairie Repertory Theatre for three seasons and acted as company manager for two. After SDSU, DJ lived in Chicago, IL, Minneapolis, MN, and Pierre, SD before moving to Sioux Falls in 2008 to help run a business called DRIVEN. In 2014 DJ made his Sioux Empire Community Theatre acting debut as Lennie in Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men. He was last on the stage for SECT playing Sir Lancelot in Monty Python’s Spamalot!
In July, 2015 DJ was hired as Director of Development for Sioux Empire Community Theatre and is very excited to help SECT grow into a premiere regional theatre.
Kristy Morris | Box Office
Kristy K. Morris was employed by the Sioux Empire Community Theatre in the fall of 2012. She started volunteering for the Sioux Falls Playhouse when her son was in the production of A Christmas Story.
Kristy was awarded Volunteer of the Year in 2011 for her work in the box office. She enjoys the daily interaction with customers and takes pride in making sure every customer is helped. Kristy attended Sioux Falls College and majored in English with a minor in Art Education. While attending school, she worked 7 years at Citibank in the Credit Renewal Department working her way thru school. However, Kristy found she enjoyed working in the Business World. She started in an entry level job at Morgan Stanley Home Loans and worked her way up to Area Manager of the Home Loan Customer Service Department. When the company moved out of state, she chose to stay here rather than uproot her son with a move to Dallas. Kristy and her son Zach have recently started a sports photography business together called Champion Photography. When away from the box office, Kristy enjoys crocheting, reading, writing, researching family history, restoring old photos, and spending time with family and friends.
Board of Directors
President: Jayden Portice
Vice President: Brenda Odle-Scott
Treasurer: Sara Andrews
Secretary: Cheryl Wyant
Member at Large: Lisa Barlow Kutter