The dream of Gladstone Theatre in the Park began to takeshape in 1988. In June of that year, a very dedicated couple devoted much oftheir time to provide the Northland community with quality entertainment. VanIbsen and Susie Ibsen, along with the City of Gladstone, began a tradition thatsummer with the first GTIP production, Oliver!. Van Ibsen was the director,carpenter, and painter for that first show. Susie Ibsen did the choreography,costuming, and made all the frayed ends come together.
Parentsand children of Gladstone and surrounding communities helped build a temporarystage and the sets each summer. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers,donors and the City of Gladstone, a permanent Amphitheatre was built in 1996and Gladstone Theatre in the Park was pleased to debut George M! on that stagein June of that year. The program continued to grow and flourish until adevastating fire demolished the structure in July 2002. The community dug inthe very next day to demo and remove the remnants and a temporary stage wasconstructed because the show must go on. So, without missing a beat, theremaining show, Lil Abner, went on as planned. Again, the city and communityrallied to build anew. From the ashes sprang an even more glorious Amphitheatrethat is still in use today. Fifteen shows were performed on the originalplywood stage, plus 2 more after the fire. Twelve shows took place in theoriginal Amphitheatre and as of 2019, thirty-four shows have been performed atthe current building.
Gladstone Theatre in the Park is one of the onlyorganizations in the region that offer high quality musical productionsabsolutely free to the community. Thisis a badge of honor that we plan to continue with your help. You are anexample of what a community can do to keep a popular event going for over 30years. Everyone involved thanks you for your support. We need yourhelp and remember that EVERY BID COUNTS!