Tracker Pixel for Entry

Creative Teamwork : Eloise Breikjern and FMCT

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Theatre | November 14th, 2020

By Kris Gruber

perriex1@gmail.com

Eloise Breikjern has been the Executive Director of Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre since 2013. She will retire in December.

High Plains Reader spoke to her about the strength of her staff, the importance of the patrons, and the skills and creativity gleaned from working during COVID-19.

HIGH PLAINS READER: There must be countless special moments that you have experienced with your staff in your work with FMCT. Is there one that jumps to mind, that you can share with our readers?

ELOISE BREIKJERN: For me watching the reactions of the patrons at shows is always special. If the performance made them cry or laugh, their reactions to attending performances told me that we were doing the correct thing. The special moment with the staff is this past year when the trusses failed, and we had to contact patrons to let them know the show was canceled. The staff worked together, making a clear statement to our patrons. Then as a team, they continued to work together through some very difficult times.

HPR: You have worked with the Red River Boys Choir, the Fargo Theatre, Trollwood Performing Arts School, and the Minnesota Orchestra. How have these roles complemented or contrasted with what you have learned in managing FMCT?

EB: With each organization, you learn and experience different things helping you grow and learn. Learning how to best develop a team takes experience, you don't learn this in a book. With all of the different arts groups I've worked with, I learned more about teamwork, I learned more about artists, more about finance and more about the functions of nonprofits.

HPR: For years now, Fargo has attracted notice from the greater theatre community. To what do you attribute the growing presence of theatre and the arts in the FM area?

EB: Fargo is a destination for people outside of our immediate area. FMCT has patrons from California, Tennessee, Texas, New York, and more. But even more important are those that come from less than 300 miles away. They are coming for a purpose and want to be entertained while they are in Fargo. Fargo has an amazing talent pool. The actors on our stage are all local individuals, some of who have not been on a stage in years. We have a large theatre education department where children are encouraged to use their skills in acting, dance, and music. These are the future patrons of the arts. Both are important to the growth in the arts.

HPR: Are you able to share any insight into the transition that FMCT and theatres, in general, are undertaking, due to COVID-19?

EB: Of course, this is a difficult time for all arts groups. FMCT is showing 10 Minute plays every Friday until December 11th. For this project, playwrights from across the country submitted plays; ten were selected and are being produced and recorded. We are having our very first virtual production, Clue, this weekend. It took different skills to block, video, and edit these productions. Everyone is learning virtual programming as they

go. Really, all the actors and technicians want to get back to the stage and perform. Our education department did not stop. FMCT had virtual classes, classes with less than twelve students, virtual productions, and we have had a great response to this programming. All arts groups are trying different things, finding what will work best for them. During this time, we need to think out-of-the box, we have creative minds, and we need to push ourselves into programming that will work during COVID-19.

HPR: What do you want patrons to know or remember about FMCT?

EB: FMCT is alive and active, even though the building is currently in disrepair. What I would like our community to remember about FMCT is it is here to enrich our greater community through engaging theatrical and educational opportunities of high artistic quality.

Recently in:

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.comFargo, ND – As winter’s chill and a global pandemic provide the backdrop for this holiday season, many of us are finding it difficult to feel spirited. However, for seniors residing in…

Shawnee Kaseman of Wishek, ND was awarded the title of Miss North Dakota for America 2020 this past September, but instead of preparing to hit the stage in a glittering gown under sparkling lights,she addressed pageant judges from…

Best Bets

Ladies Ag Night

by HPR Staff

Thursday, March 19, 4:30- 8 pm1609 19th Ave N, FargoCass County Soil Conservation District is hosting their annual Ladies’ Ag Night supper event. This event has a goal of bringing together multiple generations of women involved…

jas@hpr1.comThese days – this year – it’s a challenge to see good when there’s so much bad going on out there. It’s not easy to pull back the layers and to see what’s there for which we should be thankful. Yet it’s…

Gadfly

America on Hospice

by Ed Raymond

fargogadfly@gmail.comMission PossiblePresident Joe: your first important mission, if you choose to accept it, is to ask 90 million American registered voters why they didn’t vote in 2020. Then tell Chairman Tom Perez and the…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

Reviving Rural Grocery Stores in North DakotaBy Annie PrafckeFargo, ND – On October 7th, Gov. Doug Burgum awarded Milnor Market and the Forman grocery store project Main Street Awards, as part of an initiative led by the Office…

by John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.comThe COVID-19 pandemic may have brought most live musical performances to a screeching halt, but that doesn’t mean that industrious musicians have been any less busy. Streaming outlets…

By Jillian Finkelsonjsfinkelson99@gmail.comOscar de Leon has been making films locally for years. His latest project has been nominated for the Exceptional Artistry Award.In his own words, Oscar tells HPR about the project and its…

By Jill FinkelsonWe’ve been hearing the word Unrest a lot lately. Unrest in the streets. Unrest in the capital. Unrest in our own homes as we struggle to hunker down in the face of the unseen pandemic. People are restless. They…

Theatre

Digital Dragathon

by HPR Staff

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

by Jill Finkelsonjsfinkelson99@gmail.comFar North Spirits, located up in Hallock, MN, is the northernmost distillery in the lower 48. They may be young in the distillery world but the farm and the spirit reach far into the past.…

Wellness

Discover Yoga Differently

by HPR Contributor

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Ashlee Nordquisthpr@hpr1.comI've come to the conclusion that not everyone understands why my brother and I went on ventilators for covid and what that means. As I survived and my brother SO FAR is improving, I can make jokes and…

By Marc de Cellemarcdecelle@midco.netAs someone who has voted for both Republicans and Democrats in the last decade, and who has participated as both a poll worker and an absentee vote counter in the last five years, I feel it's my…