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Published August 01 2012

After just three weeks of rehearsal, West Fargo summer theater program presents 'A Chorus Line'

WEST FARGO – Area youth will be presenting a performance of “A Chorus Line” this weekend, and they’ll be doing so on a pretty short turnaround.

The production, part of the second year of West Fargo High School’s Summer Arts Intensive program, has been put together over just three weeks of eight-hour rehearsal days.

While such a compacted schedule is necessary due to varying summer vacations and other schedule interruptions, director Adam Pankow says the experience has been valuable for the more than 50 members of the play’s cast and crew.

“This mimics a more professional schedule,” Pankow says. “To give kids this opportunity in high school is great, and we hope it sets them up for their post-high school careers. It raises the bar for everybody.”

“A Chorus Line” centers on 19 dancers auditioning for a spot on a Broadway musical, with songs such as “One,” “The Music and the Mirror,” “What I Did For Love” and “At the Ballet.”

Because of some things addressed in the plot, Pankow says he’s marketing the play as having a PG-13 rating so there are no surprises for the audience.

“There are some things that might take a little bit more mature of an audience,” he says.

The students involved with the production, ranging from 15-20 years old, come from throughout the metro area and not just the West Fargo School District. This, Pankow says, makes the production unique compared to other similar summer programs.

“We have our share of West Fargo students involved, but what’s really cool is we’re able to open it up to other schools,” he says. “I know that other kids were seeking the same (theater) opportunities, so I’m thrilled we can open it up.”

In this way, the program helps students stay sharp so they can return to their respective schools next year ready and practiced for productions there.

“A lot of these kids are gunning for the musicals that their schools do during the regular season,” he says.

And so, despite the intense, whirlwind schedule that he and his cast and crew have gone through over the last three weeks, Pankow says everyone involved with the play is excited about opening weekend.

“It’s shaped up really well,” he says.

If you go

What: “A Chorus Line”

When: 7:30 p.m., tonight - Aug. 4 and 2:30 p.m. Aug. 5

Where: West Fargo High School auditorium, 809 9th St. E., West Fargo

Info: Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or by calling (701) 499-1834 from 1-4 p.m.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535