Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua (sha-ta-qwa) is a year round non profit performing arts organization with a rich history. We operate an intimate 900-seat, all-canvas, state-of-the-art tent theater, producing and presenting a fifty-plus night summer season of concerts, plays, lectures, and a highly acclaimed professional local troupe which performs original multi-media musicals in the tent and on tour. Tent Show Radio, a weekly one hour program which showcases live performances from the Big Top stage, is aired on public radio stations throughout the country.

We are nestled at the base of Mt. Ashwabay Ski Hill, 3 miles south of Bayfield, Wisconsin, overlooking Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Our summer schedule includes performances by renowned national, regional and touring musicians and runs from mid June to early September. On balmy summer nights the tent sidewalls can be lifted and people may sit outside and even up on the hillside. The sound is superb and on clear nights you can see the Milky Way and sometimes even the Northern Lights!

Our Mission Statement
Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua exists to provide year-round cultural activities that are both entertaining and educational with emphasis on excellent performances that celebrate history and the environment.

Our primary strategies to 
accomplish our mission are:

  • Producing original historical musical theater
  • Presenting internationally acclaimed artists
  • Showcasing local and regional performers
  • Producing Tent Show Radio – radio network program
  • Promoting & presenting BTC performances on tour
  • Conducting arts and education outreach programs

Our weekly network radio program, Tent Show Radio hosted by Michael Perry, is broadcast by radio stations across the country. Each one hour program features digitally recorded highlights from the previous summer season at the tent.

 LSBTC 2013 Board of Directors

Kim Ogle, President
Ruth Goetz, Immediate Past President

Kevin Hunt, Vice President
Ted Dougherty, Secretary
Therene Gazdik, Treasurer

Larry Gansluckner
Ron Harrold
Jim Perry
Karen Traut
Craig Haukaas

2012 Big Top Annual Report

2013 BigTop Annual Report