About Starlighters II
Produce excellent live theatre through ongoing education of actors and directors.
The award-winning Starlighters II Theatre celebrated its 45th season in 2019. Starlighters II is dedicated to bringing the best of live theatre to Eastern Iowa. It is a nonprofit theatre organization that produces a wide spectrum of entertainment.
Starlighters II was founded in 1974 in Monticello, Iowa, when Ron Ketelsen, a Monticello high school student, saw a need for more opportunities for individuals to participate in live theatre in the Monticello area. He enlisted the support of Bob Furino, a student teacher at the elementary school where he was participating in a job shadowing project. The two teamed up, enlisted a third educator, Emil Prull, with a passion for the theatre, and Starlighters II Theatre was born. Their first production hit the boards in 1975.
In February of 1978, the Anamosa Community Theatre joined Starlighters II, and since that time the theatre has become more regional. Today its active membership covers a six county area.
During each 12-month season, Starlighters II presents four mainstage productions consisting of dramas, comedies, musicals, and has included revues, variety shows, and children’s theatre. The theatre offers classes on acting and directing, which are aimed at helping those interested in learning those elements of theatre, and preparing them to work in Starlighters II productions.
Newcomers are always welcome at Starlighters II Theatre! Those interested in volunteering should send an e-mail to or call 319-462-4793. The website also provides detailed information for upcoming shows, and other Starlighters II activities. You can also contact on us on our Facebook page. Be sure to “like” us!
The theatre also encourages those interested to watch the local newspaper for Starlighters II information.
Important Moments In Starlighters II History
Birth of Starlighters II Theatre in Monticello, Iowa
Temporary Board of Directors is chosen
First stage production
First Annual Meeting. Permanent Board of Directors and bylaws are established
First Young People’s Theatre production
Starlighters II Theatre and Anamosa Community Theatre join to become a regional theatre for Jones and Surrounding counties
501(c)(3) Non-profit status is established
Coast-to-Coast building is purchased, giving Starlighters II a permanent home (mortgage paid off ahead of schedule)
First $500 Starlighters Scholarship is awarded
Adjoining feed mill property is donated to the theatre
Structure on feed mill property is demolished, giving Starlighters much needed parking space for volunteers and patrons
6 acres of land purchased along Highway 151 north of Anamosa
All new seating purchased for mainstage auditorium in the theatre
Adjoining property north of current theatre building surveyed in preparation for resumption of building project
New 5-year strategic plan developed and approved to lead the theatre to 2012
Implemented a new governing structure consisting of a Board of Directors with a majority consisting of area business leaders, and a minority consisting of members of the Artistic Committee; an Artistic Committee to oversee the educational and artistic elements of the theatre; a Facilities Management Committee to oversee the theatre structures inside and out.
New theatre at 200 East Main Street opens with a production of Shaw's Devil's Disciple