Erika Quam Theatre

Erika Quam Memorial Theatre

605 1st Street • Shell Lake, WI 54871

  • Charming setting

    Converted from an old Methodist Church

  • Seats 86-100 people,

    with fully raked seating

  • 24’ x 21’ raised stage area


  • Full stage lighting

    with computer operated light board

  • Excellent acoustics

    with or without the computer-operated sound system

  • Risers and tables

    so the space can be used for dinner theatre

  • Make-up table

    with fully lighted mirrors, hundreds of costumes and sets

  • full kitchen

    in basement with dishes, glasses, and utensils.

The Erika Quam Memorial Theatre and the rich history of live productions by the Theatre in the Woods has been a unique and special venue for the Shell Lake Arts Center since 2019.

It has been host to over 90 plays, musicals, and concerts during its 29 year history. Plays written by local artists, as well as productions of “Fools”, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”, “Oliver”, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf”, “The Hobbit”, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”, and three original musicals by Kevin McMullin: “Forests”, “The Adventures of Al”, and “Balance and Swing” are just some of the theatrical experiences provided to Shell Lake and the surrounding communities.

The addition of this intimate venue, along with the pool of talented area actors and directors has opened up many exciting opportunities for learning and entertainment at the Shell Lake Arts Center.


The Shell Lake Arts Center and Theatre in the Woods are pleased to announce their merger effective October 1st, 2019. Founded in 1967 and 1990 respectively, Shell Lake Arts Center (SLAC) and Theatre in the Woods (TITW) have over 80 years of providing creative arts education and enrichment experiences to youth and adults.

After 29 years, the TITW Board of Directors found itself in a position where all current members were retiring, and without anyone expressing interest to replace them, the board elected to suspend operations and seek a merger with another organization to help ensure the continuation of its key programs. The mutual recognition that both organizations share similar values and services provided, makes a solid foundation for the joining of the two well-established arts groups. Their complementary and overlapping theatre arts programs will generate new capacity to deliver high-quality opportunities and experiences. There is still much work to be done on deciding what programming will be happening at TITW's current facility in the 2020 season, but the Arts Center will certainly continue to hold plays there and possibly some of their own current events, like "The Art of Film" series as well.

Laurie Bakkum, outgoing TITW Board President stated about the merger, "I would like to quote my good friend and fellow board member from the beginning, Carolyn Burnett. Carolyn said, ' This is an elegant solution.' I agree - it is a wonderful way for Theatre in the Woods to continue - an elegant solution!"

The Shell Lake Arts Center looks forward to carrying out the amazing legacy that the Theatre in the Woods began in Shell Lake, and is very honored to do so. The Arts Center's Executive Director, Tara Burns, added," This is a perfect partnership that aligns resources for us to continue the quality programming that has been happening at TITW for so many years. It is also very important for us to continue the Erika Quam Theatre to honor her memory. I grew up with Erika so this has very special meaning for me personally."