Magic Circle Players

We invite YOU to join us as we STRIVE to provide quality entertainment, while keeping tickets affordable & ACCESSIBLE to our community. We APPRECIATE your gift that applauds our volunteers and invests in our YOUTH. Celebrate with us, the impact, the collaboration, and the magic of LIVE THEATRE!

Learn More About This Non-Profit
Start a movement
Want to do more for your favorite charity? We've made it easy for you to raise money by creating a personalized fundraising page.
Start a fundraiser Current fundraisers (0)

General Information

Official Name
Magic Circle Players​​​​​​​
DBA/Trade Name(s)
Former Name(s)
Date Established
Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
Tax ID
Headquarters Address
420 South 12th Street
Montrose, CO 81401
Colorado Location
420 South 12th Street
Montrose, CO 81401
Mailing Address
P.O Box 1897
Montrose, CO 81402
Other Address
Main Phone Number
Fax Number
Other Phone Number
Social Media Links

Mission Statement

Magic Circle Players, LTD., is a non-profit organization dedicated to the presentation of quality live theatre in the Montrose community. Through the efforts of volunteers, Magic Circle strives to entertain, educate, and involve the residents of Western Colorado, young and old, by encouraging an appreciation for the dramatic arts.

Organization History

Magic Circle Players' story began in the summer of 1959 when Bette Dustin Spiro, a Chicago radio actress, moved to Montrose, decided theatre and culture was needed, and convinced a group of friends to put on a play. Bette's daughter reports: "My mom chose the name (Magic Circle Players) based on her theatrical philosophy. For her, theatre is comprised of a circle; a playwright, the cast and crew. The audience completes the circle, and magic is created."

The newly minted Magic Circle Players made their own costumes, and fashioned coffee cans around light bulbs for stage lighting. They performed anywhere they could: Pomona elementary school gym, Arcadia Dance Hall, and the old Armory at South 12th and Townsend, with howitzers pushed to the far walls and covered with flats.

Gerree Nash, who performed in summer 1959's inaugural production, Green Grow the Lilacs, said, "We got so used to the howitzers hanging over us that we used them for coat hangers."
Bette directed most of the productions until 1966 when she moved to Denver. The fledgling theatre group had the potential to "fall to pieces," said Marguerite Lathrop in the 1960's but it continued to thrive under volunteers who rose to the challenge of keeping their community theatre alive.
By the 1970's, a lack of intentionality on the part of actors and directors and general apathy from the crowds, caused the community theatre to face a "bury or revive" decision. In March 1980, after nearly a decade of falling sales, a classic production with an enthusiastic cast and a big heart revived the theatre. According to newspaper reports, South Pacific saved the theatre. As the energy and professionalism returned, so did the audiences.

In 1974, following an extensive fundraising campaign and significant volunteer labor, Magic Circle Players built a permanent home at 420 South 12th Street. The first production in December of that year was "My Three Angels." The lobby wasn't yet carpeted, and the seats in the auditorium were just duck cloth directors' chairs, but we owned the building and had a 99- year lease on the property. In 2013, the Board of Governors began the process of adding on additional storage and a larger shop. The Board launched a capital campaign and wrote grants, and we were able to hire Walker & Krill, who erected the first building in 1974, to complete the addition. Board member, Dave Frank, offered his expertise and a crew of volunteers donated hours and hours to make the "new addition" a reality.

Volunteers still power Magic Circle Players, and we credit our longevity and success to our volunteers who give hundreds of their hours because they believe in the magic of theatre. We have a seven-person Board of Governors tasked with the oversite of all aspects of the theatre. Year -round committees coordinate the many facets of productions, including: wardrobe, sets, lights, props, and sound. Annually, a volunteer committee reads the scripts submitted by directors, and chooses the season for the following year. A volunteer director assembles a volunteer staff, cast and crew. There are so many opportunities for engagement, and theatre allows for volunteers of different generations, socio-economic backgrounds, and race to come together for the love of live theatre.

In 1999, Magic Circle expanded the "circle" to include more opportunities for young audiences and young actors. Jo Sanburg initiated and directed our first Theatre for Children On Stage production. In 2002, we established Drama Camp under the leadership of Cheryl Capshaw, and in 2004 Nancy Ballantyne introduced the idea for a traveling production and the Travel Show has been visiting local elementary schools every fall since then. In 2018, recognizing that our mission was "to engage youth in a variety of live theatre experiences that educate, excite and increase our community awareness of the value of the performing arts", we changed the name from Theatre for Children to Youth Theatre, to better reflect the breadth of our mission.

Magic Circle hired Renee Lee, its first employee, in 1994 to manage Theatre business and the Box Office. Renee retired after 12 years, and Lisa Rediger has served as Theatre Manager since April 2006.

Magic Circle Players produces 5 main stage shows each season. Typically we will have an 8 show run of a non-musical and a 12 show run of a musical. Each summer, we have a Youth Theatre production on stage, host a highly anticipated Drama Camp, and have special events for our patrons. We hold Director Training Workshops once every 2 -3 years to train new volunteers to direct at Magic Circle.

Magic Circle Players is among the oldest community theatres in Colorado, and we recognize that we thrive through the generous support of corporate sponsors, patrons, and season ticket holders. With the constant support of our community, we are celebrating 61 years of live theatre in Montrose.
"Bette's philosophy of theatre," as recorded by Meredyth Dickerson in June 1986, "was one of education. She felt it was the responsibility of the play's director to provide a balanced season, to continue to expand the horizons of the theatregoer, to help actors and technicians to grow and develop their hidden talents." The Magic Circle Board of Governors still adheres to this philosophy when selecting a season line- up. While big name, well-known musicals are the most popular and largest source of revenue, we make an effort to produce varied offerings. For example, in 2016, our production of the Pulitzer Prize winning drama The Rabbit Hole explored a family's process of death, loss and grief. Some were guests so touched by this production, that they confided their own stories of loss. Theatre is intended to entertain, but also has the capacity to touch emotion, to challenge us and to make us think.

At Magic Circle Theatre, it has been our privilege to entertain, educate and involve our community in quality live theatre. Thank you for donating generously so we continue to grow and thrive, and for supporting our efforts. We look forward to another 61 years of excellence in community theatre.



It is the best entertainment in Montrose and we sincerely enjoy every play..... hope this will help in some way.

We thought the production was excellent, especially so under the conditions of "quarantine", new technology and social distancing. Can electrons infect? Our hats are off the all involved: new faces, old friends, whoever taught the gang to use ZOOM! We look forward to joining you this summer in preparation for another great season.

My husband & I moved here 5 years ago. Before the move I had season tickets for over 25 years to Broadway shows, Wicked, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, etc. I was sad not having that anymore. We saw Mary Poppins as our first show & fell in love with Magic Circle. This is our third year having season tickets. We keep saying the talent is wonderful & what they can do with the stage is amazing. We look forward to every play.

Magic Circle Is a place of wonderful singing, dancing, and acting that the community is continually amazed by, I am always astonished when I see the family-like bond that is made by the cast and crew. Wonderful truly wonderful
What a fun family activity!! Entertaining and welcoming!!

Wonderful time at an enjoyable event. Sat next to a "new" friend. Support the community, good things happen!

Always friendly and efficient. Love the staff. 5 stars

Went in today to get season tickets and the ladies were so nice and helpful. Just wonderful can't wait for the play!!

Thank you very much for presenting "A Dragon Secret" to our school. It was absolutely delightful and wonderful theatre exposure for our kids. Nancy, great script!

The quality of every aspect of this production; the setting, the authentic and beautifully crafted costumes and wigs, the magnificent lighting, and the outstanding vocal, delightful dancing and acting performance of each and every actor, the musicians astounded and delighted all of us. This production was comprehensive and masterfully produced - with attention being paid to each and every aspect of theatre -both technical and performance.

We certainly are a blessed community to have the outstanding talent ready to give so much of themselves to entertain us.

I am always surprised at the amount and quality of talent that can be found in this Montrose and surrounding small towns. Amazing!

The show last night was among my top few favorites if the past eight years of my attendance at MCP! The acting was flawless, the set was beautiful and it was evident that everyone involved was committed to excellence. Please express my congratulations to the entire cast and crew for a superb theatre experience.

So I thank you from a grateful heart for all your efforts, sacrifices, devotion to provide our community and beyond with these moments of a gutsy, sincere, pure man living a life of profound possibilities - and those impacts to those around.

We sincerely appreciate you bringing the theatre to our children. ….Magic Circle Players is something we look forward to each year….Our thanks to you and all the players for this wonderful opportunity. You were great!

Thank you to the cast and staff for a wonderful evening. Truly entertaining and such great performances. This was by far the most enjoyable play I have attended for a long time. Magic Circle Players is one of the greatest gifts on the Western Slope. Thank you.

I have proudly been part of the Magic Circle audience for 10 years. Each and every performance, each and every staff/cast member has been part of a truly magical experience. There are no superlatives to capture these 51 shows, the hundreds of gifted people who continue to enrich my life. Magic ...

I have proudly been part of the Magic Circle audience for 10 years. Each and every performance, each and every staff/cast member has been part of a truly magical experience. There are no superlatives to capture these 51 shows, the hundreds of gifted people who continue to enrich my life. Magic ...

It was fun and silly! My 9 and 6 yr old loved it and so did I! Thank you!

It really is amazing what this little theater can do. Montrose is very lucky to have such a wonderful display of the arts in their own backyard. I came to see Young Frankenstein and see my brother as the lead and couldn't believe how professional it all was. The sets were outstanding, they have a live band, and the talent in this town is spectacular. The magic circle players really have something special there and I am looking forward to coming to see more shows.

Excellent service, excellent play , we will be getting season tickets

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.