Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Theater/Auditorium

The architecturally stunning Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Theater/Auditorium lies at the heart of the museum, and serves as a creative and cultural hub for the local community. Museum members and guests enjoy a wide variety of entertaining and educational programs and events throughout the year ‒ many included with museum admission or free with membership.

This versatile and intimate multimedia venue is also a popular choice for private events. To learn about reserving the theater/auditorium, please visit our Private Use page.

Special Programs and Events

The stories of the West come to life in the museum’s theater, where guests enjoy book signings, plays, film screenings, curator/artist talks, live art demonstrations, photography discussions, musical performances and expert presentations about the history, people and culture of the American West.

Generous support for the museum’s past programs were provided by Hugh and Marcia Ruddock.


An Encounter with Edward Curtis

Come and hear Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) reflect on his adventures, tragedies, and triumphs in “An Encounter with Edward Curtis,” a living history bio drama.

A self-taught photographer and prolific artist with boundless energy and a passion for adventure, Curtis’s genuine concern for the effects of Western expansion on Native American Peoples and their rich cultures at the end of the 19th century caused him to envision an impossible project, one that would consume thirty years of his life and cost him his health, marriage and reputation. The result: The North American Indian. 20 volumes and portfolios, 5,000 pages of text, more than 2,200 photographs, and over 10,000 wax cylinder recordings of Indigenous languages and songs – a magnum opus brought to completion in 1930.

Upon completion of the bio drama you will have the opportunity to experience Western Spirit’s magnificent new exhibition: Light & Legacy, the Art and Techniques of Edward S. Curtis. Reserve your seat beside Curtis’s campfire today!



Tickets are available at: $10 each, plus the applicable admission price.

Member Tickets are complimentary and included with your membership.

Student and Individual Members are eligible to reserve, in advance, one (1) complimentary ticket per membership.
Senior/Duo Household/Contributing/Supporting and Sustaining members are entitled to two (2) complimentary tickets per membership. Sidekick (companion) passes are not eligible to be redeemed for this event. Additional tickets for Member guests are available at $10 each, plus the applicable admission price.

There are a limited number of tickets available for each performance. Tickets must be booked by phone at 480-686-9539 or email at