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Ryan Johnson, Published October 20 2013

Making a scene: Krauth prepares for ‘dream role’ of Igor in ‘Young Frankenstein’

FARGO – Samuel Krauth said he finds inspiration for his art all around.

The 26-year-old Moorhead native left the community after graduating high school in 2005, moving to Chicago when he got a scholarship to attend the Theatre Conservatory of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

He was encouraged to people-watch as part of his training, and said it’s since become a habit that helps him perform on the stage in musicals or plays.

“I find myself people-watching all the time, just finding the joys and the pain and all of those emotions in life,” he said.

Krauth also studied at the acclaimed Second City and the Chicago Actor’s Studio, landing roles in local musicals and plays as well as extra parts in major films before moving back to Fargo-Moorhead in 2008.

He’s become a fixture of the local theatre scene since returning home, and this month will appear in his third role with Music Theatre Fargo-Moorhead to portray Igor in “Young Frankenstein.”

What do you hope to give the audience through your performances?

I hope they take away a new perspective. Art in general, and theater for me, has this incredible ability to really challenge people and remind them what it is to be human.

Everyone has a story to tell, and theater often is an exaggeration of those stories because it still has to be entertaining. But when a writer is approaching a script, they approach it as, “This is happening. The audience has seen this because something important happened to these people on this day or these days, and they were forever changed because of it.”

So, as actors and artists, we hope to do the same thing for the audience. While the actors are being brought on this emotional and life journey, we can bring the audience on that journey with us.

You’ve had plenty of local stage time, but have picked up film credits over the years?

Working in Chicago, I was able to do some regional theater with some of the semi-professional companies, and the same thing in New York.

As far as the film work, I have been able to do some extra work while I was in the Chicago area on some feature films, just small little extra roles where you can barely find me if you even try.

The four I did were “Fred Clause,” “The Lake House,” “The Break-Up” and “The Dark Knight.”

“The Dark Knight” was a blast, just being surrounded by those actors and Christopher Nolan being within feet of you. I did seven shoots total, four of which made it into the movie. And you can kind of see me in one of them in the bank heist scene right at the beginning.

Why do you think of Igor as a “dream role?”

I’ve always been a huge Mel Brooks fan, so to be able to portray such an iconic character and step into the shoes of the incomparable Marty Feldman, it’s daunting and incredibly intimidating.

It’s difficult to step into those shoes because they’re so iconic and people are expecting so much. It’s a fun challenge as an actor to pay homage to that while still making it my own and finding what I relate to in the character and in the role and in the show in general.

What’s next for you?

It’s a fun dichotomy as an actor to want to do so much and do the roles and the shows that obviously move you and are stirring and socially conscious and all of that. There are many out there. But at the same time, you have to make a living.

I’ve always said that I don’t want to be famous someday. I just want to do what I love to do and at least be able to pay my bills with it.

I do plan on getting back out there and restarting my career, moving back to New York or wherever it may be, maybe Chicago. But it’s expensive, and I have amazing opportunities here in Fargo.

Right now, I’m perfectly happy being here. There are opportunities everywhere you look to get that theater fix.

If You Go

What: Music Theatre Fargo-Moorhead’s production of “Young Frankenstein”

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Sunday, and Oct. 31 to Nov. 3

Where: The Stage at Island Park

Info: Tickets are available at http://musictheatrefm.com or by calling (701) 235-6778.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587