Play Inc History
The roots of Play Inc. Arts goes all the way back to Play Inc. Community Theatre which was formed in 2005 by Aaron Knudsvig, Sarah Knudsvig and Sue Wuerfein. The intent was create a stable structure in which to build a summer youth theatre program from. That Summer Youth Theatre program has been the cornerstone of the Play Inc. (Arts) season ever since. Originally offering a full musical for the high school students and several two week sessions for the elementary aged performers, that program has now grown to offer full musicals for both of the high school and middle school programs, as well as two elementary programs that perform age appropriate productions as well.
In the first six years the focus was on the summer programs, but Play Inc. Community Theatre did occasionally produce other shows for older performers. During 2011-2012 the company formally started to draw in adults with its production of The Sound of Music. At that same time, Play Inc. Community Theatre became part of the newly formed Cambridge Center for the Arts. This group became the parent organization for Play Inc. Community Theatre and made all of it’s fiscal decisions. It soon became lovingly referred to as "Play Inc." Many more fabulous productions followed. The Sound of Music came in the subsequent season with Fiddler on the Roof in 2013. And in the 2013-2014 season Play Inc. produced its first non-musical and most complete season offering 6 productions.
In the spring of 2014, due to a generous donation, Play Inc. moved into a new home on 2nd Ave, SE in Cambridge, MN. The space, affectionately known as "The Box", not only provided some much needed storage of costumes and set materials, but was also home to the monthly events known as “30 in the Box”–since that was the capacity. The events ranged from Play Inc’s own improv troupe, "Flagrant Foul", to movie nights, cabaret performances, and other special events.
In 2017, with the dissolution of Cambridge Center for the Arts, Play Inc. reorganized on its' own as Play Inc. Arts with an expanding focus on all of the arts in the East Central Minnesota area. Led by a board of individuals, Play Inc. Arts continues to grow by expanding into the visual arts and filling the artistic needs of performers and audiences in Cambridge, Isanti, and the surrounding communities.
Recently, the City of Cambridge offered Play Inc. Arts a 1,000 sf space on the main level in the new Cambridge Library building. Additionally, with two large separate storage rooms in the lower level, Play Inc. Arts is able to store their gifted collection of over 200 Elof Wedin paintings as well as costumes and set materials. Completion of the space is set for the end of February 2021, with a host of cabaret shows and visual art programs already lined up.