About Us

Corn Stock Board of Directors

Pam Orear, President
Deric Kimler, Vice President
Trish Ballard, Secretary
Josh Graber, Treasurer
Bryan Blanks, Nate Downs, Gary Hale, Roz Helms,
Rebekah Bourland, Chip Joyce, Eric Ewan, and Erin Craig.


Corn Stock Theatre Corporate Sponsorship

Sponsorship serves a vital role in helping Corn Stock Theatre fulfill its ambition to bring affordable, high quality stage productions to patrons from within Peoria County and surrounding areas.

Through the continued support of our Corporate Sponsors, Corn Stock continues to make live theatre available to a diverse audience while providing a structured venue for musicians, dancers, actors, and technicians to expand their skills.

If you would like to become a Sponsor, please contact the CST Marketing Director. Call the CST office at 309-676-2196 for more information.

Sponsorships are a great way to increase awareness of a business in our community, while at the same time, become known as a good corporate community member that supports one of Peoria’s most beloved cultural treasures.

Consider a sponsorship today.


Everyone connected with a Corn Stock production is urged to become a permanent member of the company.

Membership entitles you to:

  • A year’s subscription to The Ears, a regular newsletter that keeps you up-to-date on the year-round activities of Corn Stock; keeps you informed on news of the members and decisions of the Board of Directors and provides articles of interest dealing with the theatre.
  • A rate reduction to Corn Stock’s many social activities throughout the year, i.e. the Annual Meeting, the Recognition Dinner, etc.
  • The right to vote for Corn Stock’s Board of Directors, and the right to attend board meetings throughout the season.
  •  Hot Tix!  During the season, members receive a discount on tickets to our Sunday and Monday performances of non-musicals – ½ price singles for all Tent shows.  At the Winter Playhouse, all opening night tickets are ½ price.
  •  One free costume rental per year.
  • The satisfaction of being a part of a vital, creative, and energetic community theatre.

All of this can be yours for a low cost:  $10 for a family membership, or $8.00 for an individual membership.

Click HERE to download a Membership Form.

Click HERE to pay online with Paypal.


History of Corn Stock Theatre

Founding: 1954 The enthusiasm and resourcefulness of a small group of friends with one strong common interest in quality theatre was responsible for the birth of Corn Stock Theatre, the first outdoor theatre-in-the-round in Central Illinois. Led by the charismatic Richard Chandler and the revered instructor/director Gretchen Iben, who later served as the first president of the Board of Directors, 70 charter members joined together almost a half century ago to produce the first of many successful theatrical seasons. First Production: Detweiller Park On July 27th, 1954, Corn Stock Theatre staged its premiere performance of “Gigi” directed by Gretchen Iben. The theatre site was a grassy area in Detweiller Park. The “set” was canvas walls flooded by amber lights that were controlled by an improvised light board. The company presented five performances and attracted over 200 people each night. First Season: CST Continues. In August, 1954, the fledgling organization presented “The Silver Cord” again in Detweiller Park, and again was received warmly by receptive audiences. Thus encouraged, the company decided to seek a permanent “home.” During the winter of 1954-55, Corn Stock Theatre’s Board of Directors worked to make that happen. The Theatre also offered classes and lectures at Irving School in all aspects of theatre arts. In addition, members formed a Readers Theatre with a diverse repertoire of five offerings. The group toured as far as Chicago. Bradley Park: 1955 Forming a partnership with the Peoria Park District, the second summer found the company in an area off Park Road in upper Bradley Park. The new acting arena was actually a large pit which had a concrete base for the twenty-eight foot stage. Railroad ties were fashioned into tiers for elevated seating. Covering the entire area was a 60 x 90 foot canvas tent which became the symbol for excellent summertime theatre in Central Illinois. Tents were also used for dressing rooms, make-up, costume construction and concessions. Through the years all, except the main tent, were replaced with permanent structures.

Although the physical facilities have become more refined, comfortable and efficient since the 1954 premiere season, one thing has remained constant: the purpose of Corn Stock Theatre:

To study, teach and perform theatre in all its phases. To provide a practical and experimental environment for the creative artist. To mount productions of quality in a professional manner which will offer challenges to the talents and skills of our company. To entertain and enlighten our theatre-goers through the effective use of the dramatic arts.


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