BCT back again with roman-inspired comedy


Olivia Foster and Luke Bielfeldt play “Philia” and “Hero” in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”

Gracie Terrall, Managing Editor She/Her

The Brookings Community Theater (BCT) kicks off its 20th season with the Roman-inspired musical comedy, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”

Led by veteran BCT director Mike Thompson, the production will hit the stage at 7 p.m., Friday in the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center. The other performances are:

  • July 31 at 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 1 at 2 p.m.
  • Aug. 6-7 at 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 8 at 2 p.m. 

Set in ancient Rome, “Hero,” played by Brookings High School senior Luke Bielfeldt, falls in love with a girl named “Philia,” played by another BHS senior, Olivia Foster. The classic farcical play includes satirical puns, mistaken identity, courtesans and eunuchs. 

“Hero and Philia, they’re both kind of stupid, which contributes to a lot of the comedic moments of the play,” Bielfeldt said. “Hero’s really awkward and he’s just trying his best to get with this girl.”

This is Bielfeldt’s debut and Foster’s third performance with BCT. 

The auditorium will be at full capacity, seating about 800 people. Tickets are $12 for seniors, students and children and $15 for adults. More information about tickets can be found at brookingscommunitytheatre.org/tickets

BCT is open to all who wish to join. There are a number of ways members can participate, from acting, set design pit crew and more. 

“Our whole focus is to make sure that anybody that has a love of theater can be involved in theater,” Thompson said. “We encourage community involvement … because that’s what community theater is all about, everyone getting involved.”

For Foster, she enjoys seeing the love of theater live on in the many generations of company members. 

“It’s really nice to see that theater doesn’t end in high school and it doesn’t end in college,” Foster said of the variety of people involved in the company. “It’s really nice and comforting to see that everyone still has a passion for it and they’re willing to come together, people of all ages and different experiences, and put on a show.”

While the summer 2021 show is technically the end of BCT’s 19th season, most of the shows were canceled because of COVID-19. 

According to Thompson, the BCT Board of Directors decided to consider this performance as the start of the 20th season. The other shows debuting later in the season are “Steel Magnolias,” “Last Round-up of the Guacamole Queens,” “Pink Panther” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Dates for these performances will be announced later. 

Bielfeldt and Foster are eager to perform again live for their families and the community. 

“I’m excited for people to laugh at a bunch of the funny parts,” Bielfeldt said. “Being able to perform has been really gratifying. It can be scary at first, but when you look out into an audience and see people smiling, there’s no other feeling like it. It’s amazing.”

To continue putting on shows, BCT holds multiple fundraisers throughout the year, including bake sales and silent auctions at the performances.