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‘Fireman’s Ball’ to raise funds for Fire Hall Theatre


What: The Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre’s “The Fireman’s Ball and Lil’ Miss Hot Pants Pageant” fundraiser.

When: July 31

Where:Masonic Center in downtown Grand Forks

Tickets: $50

Info: 701-746-0847

The Fire Hall Theatre is quite literally falling apart.

Kathy Coudle-King, the executive director of the Greater Grand Forks, which calls the Fire Hall Theatre home, has been greeted in the morning by a brick falling and landing at the foot of the entrance. The 109-year-old building needs an estimated $97,000 in brick repairs.

Thus, to help raise the money, the Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre will perform an interactive dinner theatre July 31 at the Masonic Center in downtown Grand Forks.

The play, “The Fireman’s Ball and Lil’ Miss Hot Pants’ Pageant,” is an original, interactive dinner theatre. The play will be in the same vein as “Tony and Tina’s Wedding,” where actors are mixed with those attending the event.

The premise of the show will be an annual Fireman’s Ball, where the fire chief is announcing his retirements, and a fundraiser, the Lil’ Miss Hot Pants’ Pageant, is set to take place. The audience will act as people invited to the reception and be able to judge the pageant.

The play is what Coudle-King calls “long-form improvisation,” where the actors are not given a script, but are given character traits and asked to improvise a character for the entire evening.

“If there were going to be multiple nights of this, no two shows would be the same,” Coudle-King said. “It’s going to be a fun night and a great way to get members of the community directly involved with what we’re doing.”

Coudle-King said the interactive theater will serve as the annual fundraising event for the restoration project. She said similar projects used to be popular fundraisers in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The theatre received a $19,000 grant from the State Historic Society this spring. In order for phase one of the repairs to begin in September, the theatre needs to match the grant.

Coudle-King said the building isn’t to the point where it’s going to fall down, but she wants to see the building preserved so that it remains a mainstay in the community.

“It’s something that’s essential,” Coudle-King said. “Brick work is not sexy. It’s hard to raise money for something like that, but it’s something that will mean this building will be here for another century.”

There are a limited number of tickets available. For more information, call 701-746-0847.

Call Rupard at (701) 780-1122; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1122; or send email to 

Wade Rupard

Wade Rupard is a reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. Rupard is a 2014 graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and is originally from Normal, Ill. 

(701) 780-1122