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John Lamb, Published January 01 2013

What are people most looking forward to in F-M arts scene in 2013?

FARGO – Last year was a memorable one for the local arts scene, with plenty of impressive performances on stages and screens, at galleries and museums. Notable lines were written, read and sung, and images that didn’t make a sound still spoke volumes.

But that was last year. What’s in store for 2013?

We asked the movers, shakers and scene-makers to talk about what they are looking forward to not only of their own doing, but what local events they have their eye on.

• Having recently wrapped a successful run of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” at Moorhead High School, theater arts, English and speech communication teacher Rebecca Meyer-Larson (also the head of the summer theater program ACT UP), is looking forward to the 15th Annual Celebration of Women and their Music on Feb. 16 at the Fargo Theatre.

“An incredible lineup of talent,” Mey-Lar, as she’s known to students and parents, says.

• Deb Jenkins, creator, promoter and performer in the Celebration of Women and Their Music, is busy working on the show, but not too busy to catch another upcoming show.

“Anything Mike Weiler does for Music or Hope. He always puts together a great ensemble of musicians,” she says, referring to a benefit concert for Rape and Abuse Crisis Center, Jan 18 and 19, at Theatre B.

Jenkins is also looking forward to catching some of Theatre B’s own productions.

“It is such a relevant part of Fargo, and the actors are awesome,” she says.

• Theatre B gets lots of love from its fellow arts groups.

“I am really looking forward to Theatre B’s production of ‘God of Carnage.’ I know that Carrie (Wintersteen) and the team worked very hard to get the show on their stage, and it is an extremely well-written piece of theater and perfect for the B stage,” says Scott Brusven, artistic director at the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre.

On his own turf, Brusven is staging the vaudeville musical “Gypsy,” which will feature 50 area actors and a live orchestra.

• As the Executive Director of the Arts Partnership, Dayna Del Val keeps tabs on all the local arts venues. She’s particularly pumped about another FMCT play.

“I can’t wait for ‘Rumors’ at The Stage at Island Park, home of FMCT. I can’t wait to laugh out loud at this door-slamming comedy,” she says of the Neil Simon comedy slated for the first two weekends in February.

In the more immediate future, she’s looking forward to photographer Ann Arbor Miller’s show, opening Tuesday at the Green Market in Fargo.

“This exhibit is an extension of the art Ann created for the Community Supported Art program The Arts Partnership offered this past year, so I am anxious to see what else she shot,” Del Val says.

Another happening she’s watching in 2013 has a longer-term impact on the community: The continued tryouts and eventual selection of a new conductor for the Fargo Moorhead Symphony Orchestra. “It (was) an exciting year of music and personalities, and I expect that to continue as the whole community is invited to be part of this search, with three more concerts,” she says.

The next FMSO concerts are Jan. 19 and 20 with David Itkin.

• A member of the FMSO, Russell Peterson has a vested interest in the selection of a new artistic director. And as a music teacher at Concordia College and a founder of the classic rock and pop band, Post-Traumatic Funk Syndrome, Peterson’s calendar is already filling up, including PTFS dates as the house band for The Forum’s singing contest, Fargo Star, March 23 at The Venue and at the FMSO soiree, Symphony Rocks, at Bluestem Center for the Arts.

So what’s he looking forward to on his own time?

Peterson hopes to take in more theatrical performances, particularly Trollwood’s production of “Shrek: The Musical,” starting July 17.

He’s also looking to catch more concerts, both at Concordia and out in the community, including the Fargo-Moorhead Opera’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” April 12 and 14.

But one act on Peterson’s to-do list may come as a bit of a surprise: “I want to get out and see Hairball at The Venue more often. They are awesome,” the sax man says.

• The F-M Opera’s production of “The Marriage of Figaro” also topped the list for Matt Gasper, artistic director for Gasper’s School of Dance and the Fargo Moorhead Ballet, which produces “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” March 29 and 30.

• Of course, F-M Opera’s Executive Director, David Hamilton, is also looking forward to “The Marriage of Figaro,” his favorite opera.

He’s anxiously awaiting the results of the symphony’s conductor search.

“I’m looking forward to working with him or her and hearing the direction of the symphony,” Hamilton says. “A strong F-M Symphony is essential to a strong F-M Opera.”

He also plans to take his grandchildren to “Shrek: The Musical” at Trollwood and attend art shows at area galleries and museums.

• The director of the area’s largest museum, Colleen Sheehy of the Plains Art Museum, similarly has her eyes on a number of developments, like the symphony search, the continued development of Theatre B and the upcoming Fargo Film Festival. She’s also waiting for artist Gail Kendall’s visit to North Dakota State University and area artist Tim Ray’s show at ecce art + yoga.

She’s also excited to see the collaboration between artist T.L. Solien and the F-M Opera on scenes for a “Moby Dick” opera. Sheehy says the Fargo-born artist, who has his own show coming up at the Plains, was inspired by Herman Melville’s epic.

• Filmmaker Greg Carlson made his own work inspired by “Moby Dick,” or rather inspired by the illustrations by Matt Kish. Now Carlson, a member of the Fargo Theatre’s board of directors, is focused on completing a capital campaign to convert to digital screenings.

“(This year) will see the end of widespread 35 mm motion picture film distribution, and thousands of venues across the country are facing a do-or-die situation if they want to continue showing new titles,” he says. “I have been a devoted patron since I saw films like the original ‘Star Wars’ and Lon Chaney in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ at Silent Movie Night when I was a kid. I cannot imagine Fargo without the Fargo Theatre.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533