Steel Beam Theatre: Our Mission
Professional, Award-Winning Theatre Up Close in the Heart of St. Charles
From the beginning, Steel Beam Theatre has focused on presenting passionate, engaging, provoking - but always entertaining - professional theatre that's accessible and affordable to all audiences.
As the name suggests, Steel Beam provides a pillar of the community, offering a gathering place for those deeply interested in fostering the arts in downtown St. Charles, as well as the surrounding cities (South Elgin, Batavia, Geneva and West Chicago), and the Fox Valley region.
Our mission includes developing programs that build and foster interest in the performing arts for future generations. To that end, we are a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization in order to pursue youth and community outreach, training and education.
You'll love the Beam!
Experience theatre performances in a unique, intimate space where you're up close to the actors and the story their telling. Live theatre offers an uncommon delight that's perfect for an evening or day out for two or a group.
Why live theatre?
You probably enjoy your favorite musicians live and up close. Well, we sing and dance. If you like cabaret-style stand-up comedy, we're funny, too, and in all the right places. Everything we do is live and in the moment. We'd love to see you there as well.
The Steel Beam Story: From the Beginning
From the Steel Beam Theatre founder, Donna Steele.
One day in 1999, I peered into this space, a nearly empty, partially used storage space in a historic building right on Main Street in the heart of St. Charles. Through the dust and grime of many years and the plaster here and there that disguised the beautiful river-stone walls, I saw a perfect place...for a theatre.
The only obstacle seemed to be the two-and-a-half-foot thick stone wall that divided the space in two! A contractor was called in, and as he stood before the formidable wall, he slowly shook his head from side to side: partly in awe, I suppose, for the labor of those men who over one hundred years ago built this wall; and partly in wonder, I suppose, about the dream of this woman which required tearing it down.
And after what seemed like an eternity, he spoke: "Well, the only thing you can do, I suppose, is cut a hole in it and put up a steel beam."
It was at that moment I knew Steel Beam Theatre was meant to be.
STEEL: Strength, holding up, bearing responsibility, enduring
BEAM: Light, hope, joy, inspiration
THEATRE: A sacred place where we can share the mysteries, the joys, the wonders of our human experience.
It is my dream, and hope, that she will live up to her name and strength for years to come.
Donna Steele, Founder Steel Beam Theatre
Steel Beam Theatre is a professionally run not-for-profit organization. We operate with a full-time executive artistic director at the helm, who develops and manages our main stage seasons, works with artistic and production staff and manages the day to workings of a busy theatre.
As an organization who believes part of its mission is to educate and foster interest in the arts in the Fox Valley, Steel Beam offers a full slate of youth programming which brings together theatre educators from the Chicago metro and Fox Valley regions to create and teach their passions. Click through to review the Youth Theatre Education Program and On-Stage Youth Performance opportunities.
SBT Artistic Leader: Marge Uhlarik-Boller
Marge Uhlarik-Boller assumed the artistic leadership and management of Steel Beam Theatre in 2015. She brings many years of theatre experience to the artistic aspects of the company, but also the hard-won administrative skills earned as an educator and administrator.
She is responsible for day to day business as well as the artistic mission and vision of the theatre. Her many years as an educator for gifted students enhances both how she works with the artistic teams but how she works with audiences.
SBT Board of Directors - Guiding the Future
The Steel Beam Theatre Board of Directors takes an active role in guiding the future of the theatre. That's why we strive to create a board that offers a diverse view of the arts and the communities we serve.
We seek new members who are as passionate as we are about fostering the arts in St. Charles and the Tri-Cities region. We seek new members from the community who bring special skills and experience in business, finance, fund raising, local retail, real estate and the law, as well as those who participate in civic groups such as Kiwanis, Rotary, United Way, and others. Those who have established -- or are putting down -- deep roots in the St. Charles community and wider Fox Valley and have engaged in networking and building a following are welcome either as patrons, board members or friends.
What do Board Members Do?
Board representatives are expected to serve on a board committee, actively engage in fund-raising and contribute to the financial health of the organization, assist at theatre events and functions, and promote and advance the theatre’s mission and goodwill in the community. The board gathers for monthly meetings at regularly scheduled times, participates in periodic planning retreats and establishes policy.
Interested in being a member of our board? Let us know your interest. Send an email to the SBT Board.
Current Steel Beam Theatre Board of Directors
Richard Westphal, President; Vicki Michalski, Treasurer; John Westby, Marketing; Members at Large: Pat Able; Paul Anderson; Joe Billquist; Larry Boller; Bob Krez; Patricia Rataj; R. Scott Purdy, JoAnn Smith; Bernie Weiler;
Theatre and Artistic Internships
Internships at Steel Beam Theatre offer immersive experiences for those interested in all aspects of running a professional theatre in a suburban community. We seek energetic, eager candidates who demonstrate knowledge of or dedication to growing in an arts profession or simply applying skills to a business aspect of running a theatre.
Periodically Steel Beam Theatre offers internships positions in direction, stage management, technical theatre, music direction, non-profit theatre marketing and social media.
We seek applicants from local high schools or university theatre programs. Contact the Executive/Artistic Director via email.