Theatre B is back and better than ever with their newest season.
The local theater had to close its Main Street space last year due to a hefty spike in rental costs. The theater had been in the same location for 10 years, but sometimes the grass is a little greener on the other side.
Theatre B has moved to the Broadway Theater Garage, the former Schumacher Goodyear Tire Center.
The funky new garage space is quite surprisingly the perfect theater: it has open space, no sightline problems and doesn’t have any windows.
Carrie Wintersteen, Theatre B executive director, says the biggest change to the space has been the size. The Theater Garage is a much larger than their previous space, giving actors more flexibility and allowing them to increase their audience capacity from 70 to 99.
Theatre B will also be sharing the space with another local theater company: Blur, a passionate group dedicated to immersing and engaging their audience.
“Blur does different work,” Wintersteen said. “They perform musicals, and are a lot more physical and dance-oriented. They’ve been a really nice compliment to Theatre B.”
While the location has changed, the essence of Theatre B remains the same. It remains dedicated to providing F-M residents with engaging, thought-provoking plays to fuel conversation.
Theatre B will be opening their new season with Catherine Trieschmann’s “How the World Began.”
The play takes place in a Kansas town after a tornado has torn through the city. As everyone begins to adjust after the destruction, a teacher, a student and a guardian have a tense discussion on religion and science while trying to be respectful of each other’s beliefs.
“Everyone is coming from different places,” Wintersteen explained. “You can feel the tension building as the play continues. It’s very personal, with clearly drawn characters who are each trying to clarify their point. Yet it becomes increasingly more challenging to explain their side of things. There really is no bad guy.”
The play is strongly Midwestern, allowing the audience to identify with the characters or draw parallels between people they know in real life or situations that they may have experienced.
As a compelling, well-told story and a good constructed play, Wintersteen says “How the World Began” was a no-brainer for the opening of Theatre B’s season.
“Theatre B tries to select the strongest in new scripts. We look for stories that leave the interpretation up to the audience. It was definitely a play you picked up and didn’t want to put down. You could see the characters trying to be respectful, carefully choosing their words and holding back on the page.”
All the cast members are from Fargo but still offer a diverse group, mixing years of experience with students who are still learning.
Douglas Hamilton is a professional actor of the F-M area, Kate Aarness is a graduate of the MSUM theatre program and Chris Cartwright is a current student at Concordia.
“How the World Began” was also perfect for the elusive nature of Theatre B’s space. At the time of the play selection, Theatre B did not have a solid location to stage their productions.
“We were cognizant of the limits of our space. We didn’t know we would be in the Garage at the time,” Wintersteen said. “We chose a play that could stand on its own, be produced anywhere and that centered mostly around its characters and its story.”
While the Broadway Theatre Garage is functional now, it’s only a temporary venue. The Garage is slated for demolition later this year, which leaves Theatre B still looking for a permanent space. They currently have no places in mind but are continuing to look.
Yet theatergoers can still expect the same amount of passion and intimacy between the audience and cast.
“How the World Began” will open at 7 p.m. on Sept. 22, marking the debut of not only Theatre B’s season but also the Broadway Theatre Garage.
WHEN: Sept. 22 – Oct. 15
WHERE: Broadway Theater Garage
PRICE: $5 – $10 for students