Alan H. Adair

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Sciences & Disorders


This study provides a historical record of Grand Forks theatrical activity during a part of the last decade of the nineteenth century (1890-1897) when the Metropolitan theatre operated under local management. A focus on the cultural climate of the city relative to the theatrical activity provides a full range analysis of the theatre's operation and the events produced. Newspapers comprise te most valuable source of material with manuscripts, printed records, and interviews also contributing to this evaluation.

The study included five major divisions. The first is the historical setting including both the city and the state. The second relates the planning and development of the Metropolitan. Operation and management, including the booking of shows, comprises the third segment. An analysis of the productions done in the theatre constitutes the fourth section. The fifth division relates the factors leading to the loss of local control.

The study developed the following conclusions: 1) The Metropolitan was used for some local functions, 2) Some local amateur groups were sporadically active during the period, 3) Legitimate dramatic productions comprised over sixty per cent of the theatre offerings, while specialty attractions composed almost one-fourth, 4) Low receipts and large mortgages resulted ni foreclosure on the building and the loss of local control, 5) Generally, the Metropolitan commanded companies and productions of little literary or theatrical merit, 6) The offerings of the Metropolitan Theatre during the years 1890-1897, had some influence on the cultural climate of Grand Forks, but the amount of this influence is difficult to determine.