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2019 Auditions
May 4 & 5

By the Shores of Silver Lake

Theater on the Prairie × De Smet, South Dakota

July 5, 6, 7 - 12, 13, 14 - 19, 20, 21


2019 Show

By the Shores of Silver Lake


July 5, 6, 7

July 12, 13, 14

July 19, 20, 21

Gates open at 6pm
Performance begins at 8pm

ASL Interpreter available on July 13 show by request.
Please submit request via email or phone by June 2o, 2019.


$12 - Adults
$8 - 6-12 years old
5 and under free

Advance purchase of tickets is not necessary.  All seating is general admission.  The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant is held outdoors.  There is plenty of seating and we have never sold out.   You are welcome to bring lawn chairs or blankets.  It is also wise to bring a jacket or sweatshirt as the prairie evenings can be cool.  


Open to all! May 4th & 5th 2pm - 5pm - De Smet Event and Wellness Center

Auditions are announced for the 2019 Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant in De Smet. This year the
pageant will highlight “By the Shores of Silver Lake”, the story of Laura Ingalls and her family
as they move from Minnesota to the unsettled Dakota Territory (early De Smet).

Auditions will be held at the De Smet Event and Wellness Center, 705 Wilder Ln SW, De Smet, on Saturday and Sunday, May 4th and 5th, 2pm-5pm. Call backs (if needed) will be Tuesday, May 7th, at a location to be announced. Auditions are open to all.

Needed are 12 men (age teen -80), four women (30-70), and four girls/teens (10-16). Rehearsals begin the week of May 13th. Acting experience is not a requirement, but a commitment to learning about theater, being a disciplined cast member, and having fun in the process are a must.

Performances are July 5, 6, 7 - 12, 13, 14 - 19, 20, 21 at the outdoor pageant site in De Smet.

Also needed are musicians/singers for pre-show and intermission performance (commitments can be one performance or more, depending on scheduling). Especially needed are banjo and fiddle players.

Don’t want to act but would love to be part of this theatrical experience? Volunteers are needed for the set crew, concessions, costume help, horse wrangling, sound and light operation, and assisting the stage manager and director.

If cast, performers under the age of 16 will need to complete a parental permission form.

Questions or for more information, contact us here.

Planning Your Visit to De Smet

We are glad you're considering coming to De Smet for the performance.  There are other 'Laura' sites to visit in De Smet and we have found that visitors often spend an entire day in De Smet.  Please don't hesitate to call or email if you have questions about all there is to do and see in town.  A list of attraction, lodging, and dining information is below.

800-776-3594  or 800-880-3383

Be sure to visit the helpful City of De Smet website when planning your trip.



Other Area Lodging

  • Hometown Motel - 605-625-5226: located in Willow Lake, SD

  • Watercrest Motel - 605-772-4700; located in Howard, SD

  • Arlington Inn - 605-983-4609; located in Arlington, SD

  • Prairie Retreat B&B - 605-625-5085; located near Bryant, SD



  • Oxbow Restaurant - 800-854-9988

  • Ward's Store and Bakery - 605-854-3688

  • Kingsbury County Country Club Restaurant - 605-854-3134

  • Dairy Queen - 605-854-9000

  • Subway - 605-854-9009

  • Cowboy Country Store - 605-854-3553

  • The Main Stop - 605-854-3200

  • Maynard's Grocery - 605-854-3432

  • Wheatie's Sports Bar - 605-854-3715

  • Dugout Lounge - 605-854-9171

Pageant History

1951   Families gathered around their radios to listen to the Hallmark Playhouse presentation of "The Long Winter."

1955   After receiving permission from Hallmark Playhouse to use its script, local actors performed "The Long Winter" in the high school auditorium at no charge to the public.

1968   As part of the summer arts festival, local actors once again performed "The Long Winter" in the high school auditorium. People poured in, and extra chairs were brought in from the Lutheran Church, and still more people continued to come in.

1971   Encouraged by the overwhelming response to the 1968 production, a group of local volunteers developed plans for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, an outdoors family drama to celebrate the life and writings of our home town author. Several local civic organizations-- the Kiwanis, Jaycees, and Chamber of Commerce assisted in the production.

1973   The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant Society was founded, a non-profit organization committed to the preservation of Laura's legacy.

1974   The LIW Pageant Society purchased thirty acres of land to become the pageant's permanent home. This beautiful section of land is nestled between the Ingalls Homestead, the big slough, and Silver Lake.

Over the years, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant has become a local tradition. Each summer more than a hundred volunteers combine their talents to present a family-friendly drama based on the writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder. People from all over the world gather together on the beautiful South Dakota prairie and step back into history to a time when the West was just opening up to a wave of pioneering men and women. It is our goal to preserve--through drama--the family values and pioneering spirit of the Ingalls family.