Our History & Mission
Founded in 1974 by Central High School choir teacher Harold Hamler, Central High theatre teacher Jim DeMersseman, and local artist Kent Smith, the Stampede Troupe was looking to fill what they perceived as a gap in performance opportunities for non-student aged singers, dancers, actors, and musicians. Hamler (music director), DeMersseman (artistic director), and Smith (technical director) chose “Annie Get Your Gun” as the Troupe’s first production, scheduled for June of ’74. Performed in the Greeley Central High School Auditorium (not air-conditioned!) during a scorchingly hot weekend, the show drew large and highly enthusiastic audiences, eager to see and hear their neighbors and friends perform on stage.
The group then called the Greeley Independence Stampede Troupe, went through several name changes, including The Troupe, and the Greeley Community Civic Theatre, before deciding to call themselves what everyone knew them as anyway, The Stampede Troupe. Little did the founders and the cast and crew of that first show imagine that 46 years later, that small band of performers on a dimly lighted high school stage, with cardboard sets and costumes mostly pulled from the actors’ closets, would grow into an organization which has featured over 2300 local citizens in its nearly 200 productions.
The original schedule of one musical show in the summer has evolved to feature up to six productions per year, including two by its Children’s Theatre company, with large and small musicals, dramas, comedies, classics, Shakespeare, and original scripts, all performed in Greeley’s state-of-the-art Union Colony Civic Center. From “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Li’l Abner” in the ‘70s, to stunning performances of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Shrek the Musical” in the ‘10s, the Stampede Troupe, now led by President Ken Andrews and a governing board of 8, is looking forward to its 50th Anniversary in 2024.
Our mission is to enrich the lives of our community by promoting the development of talent and interest in theatre arts through theatrical productions.