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FMCT expands to second space on Broadway

Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre General Manager Lucas Rutten removes lettering from the doorway at the group's new space at 6 Broadway N. in downtown Fargo. David Samson / The Forum1 / 3
Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre Artistic Director Adam Pankow is excited about the group's new leased space at 6 Broadway N. in downtown Fargo. David Samson / The Forum2 / 3
Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre Executive Director Eloise Breikjern said increased demand for youth education classes and the need for additional rehearsal space prompted the group's new lease at 6 Broadway N. in downtown Fargo. David Samson / The Forum3 / 3

FARGO — Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre has a problem many small theaters would envy — it's become a little too popular for its own good.

"We're bursting at the seams," said Artistic Director Adam Pankow. "There's no way to move forward unless we get some space."

So that's just what they did. FMCT has signed a two-year lease at 6 Broadway N. in downtown Fargo that they hope will give them a little breathing room.

The new space, just past the railroad tracks, was previously home to an antique store and, most recently, Revland Gallery and Cultural Event Center, which opened in September 2017 and closed Jan. 31.

The space will be now be called Studio 6 Broadway and will operate in tandem with FMCT's longtime home,The Stage at Island Park, located at 333 Fourth St. S. in Fargo.

Studio 6 Broadway features two medium-sized classroom spaces, an 80-100 seat performance venue and a large rehearsal hall, in addition to small practice rooms ideal for private voice or instrumental lessons.

FMCT's Executive Director, Eloise Breikjern, said the move comes because of increasing demand for rehearsal space and youth education classes.

"Our education programs doubled from fall to winter," she said. "We have almost 200 children, kindergarten to eighth grade, signed up for our summer program this year alone. To have our current venue filled is a great problem, but to meet our mission of community outreach, we needed more room."

Beyond summer programming needs, Studio 6 Broadway will house an expanded slate of educational offerings for students and adults beginning this fall. The space will also be used as a secondary rehearsal space for FMCT's 10-show production schedule for next season.

Pankow pointed to a recent example to illustrate the need for FMCT's second space.

"On a recent Tuesday evening between the runs of 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,' The Stage was a hub of activity with an outside community event as a rental in the auditorium, an acting class in the administrative offices and rehearsals for two different productions squeezed into our dressing rooms, classroom space and main entrance pavilion," he said. "This space crunch is not an isolated occurrence, but a frequent dilemma our organization faces."

Breikjern, Pankow and others have been working to get the space in shape before summer programming begins in June. In the meantime, they're excited to invite the community to see the space for an open house starting at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 24.

"We just want to serve our community to the fullest of our capacity," Pankow said. "There is so much happening at the theater. Adding this space is a leap of faith that's long overdue."

If you go

What: Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre's Studio 6 Broadway open house

Where: 6 Broadway N., Fargo

When: 5-7 p.m. Thursday, May 24

Info: www.facebook.com/FMCTND

Helping out

FMCT is asking for the community's help by donating supplies to outfit Studio 6 Broadway. To make a donation, visit www.fmct.org, call 701-235-1901 or bring donations to the May 24 open house.

The nonprofit is also asking for financial donations, which would be used to buy supplies. Donors can purchase a classroom and get their name above the door.

Here are the requested supplies:

• Plumbing for a utility sink

• Whiteboards

• Water fountain

• Pianos

• Bookshelves

• Small tables

• Occasional chairs

• Classroom craft supplies

Tracy Briggs

Tracy Briggs is a former TV anchor/radio host currently working as a features writer and video host for Forum Communications.

(701) 451-5632
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