Door Community Auditorium serves as a center to enrich, entertain, and challenge through a balanced combination of performing, visual, and literary arts; and to provide opportunities for social, educational, and cultural growth.
Home of unforgettable experiences, Door Community Auditorium (DCA) is Door County’s year-round venue for performing arts, entertainment, cultural and educational activities. DCA is recognized as a 501(c)3 organization and supported by Door County visitors and residents through ticket sales, sponsorship, membership and volunteer labor.
Main Stage Season
Annually, DCA presents a Main Stage Season featuring 10-15 nationally-recognized concert artists and touring productions. The Main Stage Season coincides with Door County’s bustling and vibrant tourist season.
Community Performances and Partnerships
DCA enjoys strong partnerships with two well-respected Door County performing arts organizations, Peninsula Music Festival and American Folklore Theatre, both of whom take up residence at the auditorium during the summer and early fall. DCA is also the venue of choice for many community groups and regional promoters.
St. Norbert Lecture Series
During the winter months, St. Norbert College professors lead a series of five, free lectures providing an in-depth exploration of topics of personal expertise, community interest and national relevance.
Fireside Coffeehouse Series
Regional performing artists are featured in the intimate atmosphere of DCA’s Fireside Lobby. Candlelight, coffee and gourmet desserts complete this Door County winter experience.
Exhibits at The Link
The Link Gallery is an exhibition area linking the adjacent Gibraltar Schools and the Door Community Auditorium. The Link provides a space for exhibits exploring ideas in the humanities, the creative arts, history, the sciences, the world around us and the world beyond. Exhibits feature members of all areas of the community, endeavoring to promote learning and understanding.
Students are stars at DCA. Throughout the school year, Gibraltar Schools’ theater and music programs consistently inspire, impress and entertain friends, family and the year-round Door County community.
Movies at The Door
Free movies are the latest addition to DCA’s menu of programs. Plans for the future of the series are currently unfolding. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions for films and themes.
- 725-Seat Non-Union Theater
- Proscenium Width: 60’ wall to wall (normal width 40’)
- Proscenium Height: 24’ (normal trim 16’)
- Depth from Plaster Line to Back Wall: 30’
- No Fly System (battens motorized with high trim of 27’)
- No Grid
The Door Community Auditorium opened in 1991. It was a dream come true for those who believed a professional year-round auditorium serving both school and community could enhance the lives of all who live and visit here. Though the auditorium is part of our public K-12 Gibraltar School, it was entirely funded by private donations from over 1,200 generous individuals, businesses and organizations whose names are painted on the adjoining walls.
Over the years extraordinary things have happened. Big-name stars have appeared on our stage giving us concerts we will never forget: Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, Rosemary Clooney and Victor Borge, Harry Belafonte and Bill T. Jones, Joan Baez, Jeff Tweedy and Indigo Girls. Rising stars have come to perform: Ruthie Foster, Alison Krauss and Natalie McMaster. We’ve been exposed to people and places we might never have known: The African Children’s Choir, American Indian Dance Theatre, Ko-Thi Dance and Imuka Singers.
This same stage has given young students a presence and a voice and a chance to shine. School concerts and plays have been transformed into eagerly awaited productions that fill the house. Students and community members have heard speakers and participated in workshops and stood side-by-side on the stage, forging new connections, exploring new ideas and opening up new paths. They’ve learned the skills involved in assisting with the technical aspects of performances in a state-of-the-art facility.
DCA is also home to the Peninsula Music Festival that fills the hall with the extraordinary music of an orchestra made up of outstanding musicians who come together from throughout the country for three exciting weeks each August. It has allowed other groups such as the American Folklore Theatre to expand their seasons and their audiences. It’s kept the creative spirit alive during our winters through professional performances, local talent showcases, Link gallery exhibits and film, coffeehouse, and lecture series.
In so many ways, the auditorium has brought us together to celebrate life and our connection to one another. Thank you for coming and thank you for helping to keep this dream alive. We welcome your involvement and support, your ideas and your good will.
THE BUILDING OF DCA
Throughout the design process of the auditorium, our hope was to create a building that would not only provide a professional year-round space for the arts, but would reflect Door County’s natural beauty and the heritage of its people as well.
Principle architects Sherrill Myers and Scott Georgeson of the Milwaukee architectural firm Beckley/Myers began by driving the back roads of the peninsula. They found they were most drawn to the aesthetic of the old barns and one-room schoolhouses that stand along our country roads. So instead of chandeliers and red velvet, you will see the beauty of open space, exposed wooden beams, a simplicity of shapes, and an integrity in materials used, as in the native stone fireplace so generously donated by local stonemason Rick Zak.
An idea that was explored with the architects early in the design process was that of large-scale murals that would visually situate the auditorium firmly in Door County. We suggested the work of David Giffey, an artist who once lived here and who had the necessary experience with large-scale projects through his painting of Greek Orthodox churches.
Sherrill Myers’ strong interest in the history of murals as part of European theaters led him immediately to Madison to view Giffey’s work at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church. David worked closely with the architects from that point on so that the murals would be an integral part of the building.
For research, he traveled throughout the county taking nearly 1,000 photos of the landscape and people at work. From these he chose representative figures and views meant to capture the essence and spirit of the peninsula. Once final designs were approved, the actual murals were painted on multiple sheets of canvas in the artist’s studio in Arena, WI, each taking about six months to complete.
Door County/The Water, was installed in November 1991, and Door County/The Land in June 1993. These murals are intended to speak forever of the beauty of this special place on earth and of the people who call it home.
David Giffey also painted the names of all the individuals and businesses that donated to the effort to build this auditorium. Rather than a hierarchy of high to low, the list is alphabetical to show the gratitude we felt for each and every gift made. It truly was a dream come true!