Minnesota’s top-notch professional theater scene gets plenty of well-deserved attention, but there’s a home-town exuberance and excitement that’s unique to community theater—plays performed by amateur actors out of civic pride and love of the art, with auditions open to all. The Minnesota Association of Community Theatres (MACT) has 59 member theaters throughout the state, and will sponsor a competition of short plays, FAST Fest, on Aug. 19-20 in Pipestone. The festival is hosted by that town’s Calumet Players, which also presents “Chasing Charming” this spring.
Perhaps best known among Minnesota’s community theaters is Minneapolis’s venerable Theater in the Round, whose 64th season will feature “The Secret Garden” and “Sense and Sensibility,” among others. The 51-year-old Albert Lea Community Theater will perform “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Kitchen Witches”; the Duluth Playhouse will stage “42nd Street” and “Annapurna”; and the Bemidji Community Theater is presenting “Enchanted Sleeping Beauty.”