Built in 1888 and located on the Old Geneva Road,
in Walworth County. In the midst of a large corn
field, it was the first Mormon church in Wisconsin.
The Belfry Players, a group of amateur actors who
received no pay for their performances, were
In the spring of 1940, the Belfry celebrated a
new addition to the back of the orginal chuch
building. Adding cement to the floor, sectioning
off rooms with canvas creating dressing rooms
and the Green Room.
Belfry Player, Paul Newman played Jim O’Connor in The
Glass Menagerie and Gov. Sam Bright in Parlor Story.
Newman went on to success on Broadway and film.
The Crane family, famous for their family-owned
plumbing fixture business that took off during the
construction boom following the Great Chicago
Fire of 1871 donated Crane Hall (The Belfry House).
In 1962, Gary Burghoff gained early experience acting
with the Belfry Players.
In the late 1960s, the Belfry Theatre was imperiled
by a highway widening project. Although the
theater building was moved and its existence
saved, the company’s debts forced it to suspend
production between 1969 and 1976.
In 1964, Harrison Ford played in musicals at the Belfry
as his first paid acting job at Wisconsin’s first summer
Barry E. Silverman, a director of the Dobama
Theater of Cleveland, assumed proprietorship of
the Belfry in 1976, dubbed his operating company
“Dobama West,” and revived producing for three
years, closing after the 1979 season.
After regular annual productions ceased,
occasional revivals and performances were
booked at The Belfry into the 1990s.
In November 2013 the property was purchased
and reopened the doors for summer concerts in
June 2016, after nearly 20 dormant years.