Skip to main content

Mission Statement: “Enriching our greater community through engaging theatrical and educational opportunities of high artistic quality."

Our Legacy

Since 1946, Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre (FMCT) has provided a wide range of performance and education opportunities to the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo area and surrounding communities. FMCT is the longest-running community arts organization in the Red River Valley Region of Minnesota and North Dakota.

Originally opening as the Emma K. Herbst Playhouse in 1967, today’s FMCT was a community-wide building project supported by financial and in-kind contributions from many individuals and entities including the Herbst family, local Union workers, and the Fargo Park District. The opening of the facility fulfilled a common goal to create a permanent home for FMCT to grow and prosper after two decades of holding productions in various venues throughout Fargo and Moorhead.

In December 2019, wooden beams spanning the 52-year-old auditorium failed, causing the organization to vacate the premises. The building was deemed unsafe and was eventually demolished in November of 2022.

In the summer of 2021, FMCT moved into a new space in the iconic Hjemkomst Center in downtown Moorhead, MN, where productions are now held year-round. Plans were recently announced to rebuild FMCT’s theater in the heart of downtown Fargo as part of a mixed-use building, in partnership with the Kilbourne Group, Global Development, and the City of Fargo. Groundbreaking for the new building will take place in the fall of 2023.

FMCT is officially organized under the name Northern Prairie Performing Arts.

Since 1946, Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre (FMCT) has provided a wide range of performance and education opportunities to the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo area and surrounding communities. FMCT is the longest-running community arts organization in the Red River Valley Region of Minnesota and North Dakota.

Originally opening as the Emma K. Herbst Playhouse in 1967, today’s FMCT was a community-wide building project supported by financial and in-kind contributions from many individuals and entities including the Herbst family, local Union workers, and the Fargo Park District. The opening of the facility fulfilled a common goal to create a permanent home for FMCT to grow and prosper after two decades of holding productions in various venues throughout Fargo and Moorhead.

In December 2019, wooden beams spanning the 52-year-old auditorium failed, causing the organization to vacate the premises. The building was deemed unsafe and was eventually demolished in November of 2022.

In the summer of 2021, FMCT moved into a new space in the iconic Hjemkomst Center in downtown Moorhead, MN, where productions are now held year-round. Plans were recently announced to rebuild FMCT’s theater in the heart of downtown Fargo as part of a mixed-use building, in partnership with the Kilbourne Group, Global Development, and the City of Fargo. Groundbreaking for the new building will take place in the fall of 2023.

FMCT is officially organized under the name Northern Prairie Performing Arts.

Staff & Board

Executive Director

Judy Lewis

Judy E Lewis is a theatre maker and community builder. Judy directed her first professional play at the age of 19 and has spent her life since finding ways to bring theatrical pedagogy to the people in her life.

Before moving to North Dakota, Judy worked in the arts in NYC, San Diego and most recently served as the Theatre Director at the Lamphere School District for ten years where she developed music curriculum, implemented reading strategies and directed and produced school productions.

In addition to working in the theatre, Judy has made a lifelong habit of serving on community boards, the Arts & Culture board, Women’s Club, City Round Table, and Parks & Recreation.

Judy is a life-long learner and holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University as well as a master’s in applied drama and theatre for the young from Eastern Michigan University.

In August of 2019, Judy moved to Fargo, ND to join the team at FMCT as the Education Director and was promoted to Executive Director in December of 2020.  Judy believes that the Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre is the perfect place to bring people together to build a strong and thriving community through the art of theatre.

Community Engagement Director

Shanna Franzen

For over 20 years, Shanna has been involved with FMCT as an actor, volunteer and served on the Board of Directors. In fact, she loves FMCT so much that she decided to be even more involved, joining the staff full-time in 2021 as the  Community Engagement Director! Raised on a ranch near Lemmon, SD, Shanna found a love for music at a very early age – and the arts have been an important part of her life for as long as she can remember. Shanna moved with her family to the F-M area in 2008 where she worked for Microsoft for 13 years. She fell in love with FMCT all those years ago because of the bonds that theater creates among people from all walks of life, and she is thrilled to join this incredible organization to help facilitate those connections across our community.

Technical Director

Rick Lewis

Rick comes to FMCT with a career spanning over four decades and five states. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in technical theatre and scene design from Central Michigan University he worked in New York as a scenic carpenter for many on and off Broadway shows including Night of the Iguana, Aida, Les Miserables, and Phantom of the Opera.  Incorporating his scenic design building skills, Rick has designed and built zoo and museum exhibits, trade show displays, corporate event designs, custom furniture, storefronts and residential home remodels.  Prior to moving to Fargo/Moorhead area he worked for 10 years as the technical Director and auditorium manager for a high school and served as a master carpenter for another high school and professional summer Shakespeare company.  Over the course of Rick’s career, he still finds his favorite part of theater to be when the house first goes to half, and the crowd goes silent, creating a wave of anticipation to fill the air.  With that same excitement he looks forward to serving as the technical director at FMCT.

Education Director

Michaela Pytlik

Michaela graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education in the fall of 2015. She has spent years as a substitute teacher, preschool teacher, and nanny. Michaela first began working at FMCT in January 2017 as a teaching artist for educational programs. She grew up in West Fargo, and loves this community! Michaela spent her high school and college years immersed in theatre and music. She learned confidence, communication skills, critical thinking skills, and how to view the world from various perspectives thanks to her experiences.

Minister of Magic-Making

Anna Kann

Anna graduated from The Conservatory of Theater Arts at Webster University with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Technical Director and Scenic Design. She has since traveled the country working in theater and outdoor festivals, including The St. Louis Rep, Opera Theater of St. Louis, The MUNY, The Utah Shakespeare Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, North Carolina Folk Festival, and Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Since moving to the Fargo/Moorhead area to weather the pandemic, she has worked with various local theaters and was awarded the opportunity to design and build an outdoor art installation in her hometown, Iowa City, IA. She is excited to be a part of creating theatrical magic for and with this community.

Scenic Charge & Educator

Kate Aarness

Kate Aarness was born in Minnesota and completed primary schooling in the midwest-most portion of the state. Kate earned a Bachelor of Arts from Minnesota State University Moorhead in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Musical Theatre. She studied classical theatre at the British American Drama Academy in London for a study abroad semester. Kate later went on to earn a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Devised Performance from University of the Arts/Pig Iron School in Philadelphia, PA and with fellow classmates co-produced Threnody, the second iteration of their thesis project in the 2022 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Further information and past credits at kateaarness.com

Finance Manager

Kim Rensvold

Kim joined FMCT in March 2020.  She is from the area and graduated from NDSCS in 2003 with an Associate of Science degree in Business Management.  Kim went back to school and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business with emphasis in Human Resources from University of Mary in 2013.  She has worked in the accounting field since 2004 doing several different finance and accounting activities including, bookkeeping, accounts payable, accounts receivable/collections, payroll, benefits, and general ledger.

Executive Assistant

Kayla Rice

Kayla is originally from the Twin Cities but has called the FM area home since 2006 when she relocated to attend Minnesota State University Moorhead to study communications. Theatre has been a passion for Kayla since an early age and her love for the arts has only grown exponentially. Following college, Kayla sought the connection theatre fosters and found FMCT. For over a decade now Kayla has had the honor to be a volunteer, patron, actor, and staff member at FMCT serving in multiple roles. Kayla resides in West Fargo with her husband, twin daughters, and son. She has spent the last 3 years caring for her family and is thrilled to be rejoining her FMCT family where she can serve our amazing community and ignite passion for the arts.

BOARD PRESIDENT

Daniel Damico

Sworn in: June 11, 2018
Creative Arts Director
First Lutheran Church, Fargo

BOARD VICE PRESIDENT

Mike LaMont

Sworn in: June 10, 2019
Account Manager
Dale Petroleum Company

BOARD SECRETARY

Shelby Cochran

Sworn in: June 11, 2018
Marketing Manager Operations
Doosan Bobcat

BOARD TREASURER

Nicole Hjelden

Sworn in: June 14, 2021
Mortgage Loan Associate
Border Bank

Shelby Naser

Sworn in: June 11, 2018
US Payroll Systems Process Manager,
Microsoft, Fargo

Matthew Hallaway

Sworn in: June 14, 2021
Chief Advancement & Marketing Officer
Oak Grove Lutheran Schools

Hannah James

Sworn in: June 13, 2022
Assistant VP, Appraisal Administration
Gate City Bank

Katie Maple

Sworn in: June 13, 2022
Educator
Peace Academy

FAQ

What are the Box Office hours?

Online: 24/7 – visit fmct.org
Phone: Tuesday-Friday, 9am-5pm – call 701-235-6778
In Person: Tuesday-Friday, 9am-5pm & 60 minutes before each performance

When are performances?

Our typical production schedule has performance start times on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 pm. Sunday matinees are typically held at 5:00 pm. When ordering tickets, please be sure to check the performance date and times. FMCT is not responsible for missed performances and no refunds or exchanges will be made after the performance.

What is your privacy policy?

We take measures to make sure your information is safe and secure. FMCT does not share your personal information with anyone. We also do not keep any payment information on file.

Can I exchange my ticket?

Complimentary exchanges are available exclusively to FMCT members. A $5.00 per order ticket exchange fee will be charged for non-members.

Can I refund my ticket?

Ticketing refunds are available exclusively to FMCT members. Refund requests must be made more than 24 hours in advance of the performance in question. For more info about membership, visit fmct.org.

When can FMCT members buy tickets?

FMCT members have presale access to tickets for all mainstage FMCT productions prior to the general on-sale period. A presale link will be sent to all active members during the presale window.

Does FMCT offer a group rate?

Group rate tickets are available to groups of 10+. Group rate tickets must be purchased in advance by contacting the box office during business hours, 701-235-6778.

Can I still see the show if I arrive late?

Patrons arriving after a performance begins will be seated at the discretion of the House Manager. Location and timing of late seating is not guaranteed and is subject to change.

Does my child need their own ticket?

Any child who will be occupying their own seat must have a ticket. Children who will be sitting on a lap do not need their own ticket.

Does this show contain sensitive material?

Is it appropriate for younger audiences? How long is the performance?

This information is different for each performance.  If these conditions exist, they will be found in the show description online and on our social media accounts.

Where should I park?

There is ample parking for FMCT patrons to park in the Hjemkomst Center lots, located on the south and east sides of the Center.

Handicap Accessible parking is available in the marked spaces in the south parking lot of the Hjemkomst Center.

Where is FMCT located?

The theatre is located in Heritage Hall inside the Hjemkomst Center, 202 1st Avenue North in Moorhead, MN.

What time should I arrive?

Please arrive early for performances. Doors to the lobby open at least one hour before curtain time, and guests are admitted to the auditorium 30 minutes prior to the start of the performance. If guests are buying tickets at the door or picking up tickets at the Box Office, they should allow at least 10 minutes to do so.

As a courtesy to all guests, late arrivals and guests re-entering the theater may be asked to wait to be seated until a suitable break in the performance, at the discretion of the House Manager and/or Lead Usher.

How will I get my tickets if I purchased them over the phone or online?

All orders have the option to be held Will Call, emailed (print-at-home) or mobile ticket option.

Tickets bought online or through the Box Office may be printed from the computer once the transaction has been finalized. If you choose to print your tickets from home, you will receive an email confirming your ticket transaction with a printable ticket attachment. If multiple seats were purchased in a single transaction, each ticket will have its own page. For any printer-related issues, please contact the Box Office and we will reprint the tickets to be held at Will Call.

Do you cancel performances due to weather?

At FMCT, we believe that “the show must go on!” Occasionally, however, a performance must be canceled, usually due to inclement weather. In the event of inclement weather that requires us to cancel a performance, the Box Office will have an outgoing message describing FMCT’s plans of a cancelled performance.

The decision regarding whether or not to cancel will be made no later than 5 pm the day of the performance. If this occurs tickets will be exchangeable or refundable, with refunds given in the form of credit on the ticket purchaser’s account. FMCT will also make every effort to inform guests of this decision as soon as possible by phone and social media.

Do you offer anything to eat or drink?

Experience FMCT’s concessions and full bar starting 30 minutes before most performances. All concession items and beverages can be brought into the theatre to enjoy during the performance. Concessions and the Lobby Bar take credit/debit cards or cash. No outside food or beverages will be allowed.

What should I wear?

Most guests arrive at FMCT in what might best be described as “office casual”—clothes in which they feel comfortable. Suit jackets and ties are not required for men. Jeans are perfectly acceptable. Individuals having an elegant “night on the town” will come dressed as such. During the holiday season, some families—especially the children—will come dressed in holiday finery.

The temperature in the theater varies from production to production based on audience and cast size. We suggest bringing a sweater or light jacket to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.

I require accessible seating. Where can I find seats for my needs?

The auditorium has accessible seating and spaces are reserved for parties including persons using wheelchairs, walkers, or persons with limited mobility. These wheelchair-accessible seats and companion seats are available for purchase for every performance, subject to availability. To request accessible seating, please contact the box office at 701-235-6778.

Do you offer listening devices?

Assistive listening devices are available to check out from the box office for all performances. Devices amplify the sound from the stage and feed into an earpiece that can be worn by anyone who may have difficulty hearing.

Do you offer any services for blind or low-vision patrons?

FMCT typically offers one Audio Description (AD) performance during the run of each main stage production. At these performances a professional audio describer communicates what is happening on stage for any patron that is blind or low-vision. The audio describer’s voice is fed discreetly into an earpiece worn by the patron for the duration of the performance. To request additional info or to book tickets for an upcoming AD performance, please contact the box office at 701-235-6778.

Do you offer programming to the Autism community?

FMCT offers Sensory Friendly performances during various designated productions each season. These performances are specifically adapted for audience members with sensory needs who may find the typical theatre-going experience to be overwhelming. For information about upcoming Sensory Friendly performances, please contact the box office at 701-235-6778.

Can I take pictures or record a performance?

As a courtesy to others, please turn off or silence cell phones and other “noisy and bright” electronic devices. Text messaging during the performance is not allowed. Due to performance royalties, contractual obligations and as a courtesy to the artists, the use of cameras and recording devices is strictly prohibited. Violators may be asked to leave without refund.

Charitable Gaming

The activities of Northern Prairie Performing Arts are supported in part with proceeds from charitable gaming. In accordance with the North Dakota Games of Chance Administrative Rules, all financial information and tax returns are made available for inspection at Studio 6 by appointment. This information is updated quarterly. NPPA gaming sites include: SouthTown PourHouse and the Windbreak Saloon, located in Fargo, North Dakota; The Loft, Parrots’ Cay, and SouthTown PourHouse in Grand Forks.