WEST FARGO — Stage West, the newest outlet of West Fargo Events, rolled into West Fargo with a bang but not a flash, because after the success of its first production, Rock of Ages, Stage West is likely here to stay.
Stage West was recently formed as a theater group under the West Fargo Events umbrella. West Fargo Events is a nonprofit community group that manages city and West Fargo School District venues such as the West Fargo Sports Arena, Essentia Health Plaza at the Lights and the MIA/POW Plaza on Sheyenne Street. Around the same time as the opening of the Essentia Health Plaza and city-owned parking ramp at the Lights on Sheyenne, West Fargo Events began managing more and more community events such as West Fargo's own West Fest and the summer-long cruise nights.
Stage West was formed as a way to "celebrate local artists and arts patrons through live performance, education and cultural experiences that serve and connect the community."
The theater group "aims to provide performance opportunities that will impact the arts and cultural scene in West Fargo in the coming years."
West Fargo Events is governed by a board of directors, which includes representatives from the city and school district as well and managed by Executive Director Mike Amundson.
Stage West's very first production, "Rock of Ages" opened Friday, July 23, to a light crowd, but still one that drew the attention of Hollywood actor Josh Duhamel, who attended the outdoor performance. After the show, North Dakota native Duhamel visited backstage with the cast and crew, including director and producer Adam Pankow.
Pankow, a celebrated theater director in West Fargo Public Schools, chose the 80s tribute musical that came to West Fargo after a successful run on Broadway.
While the casting call for Rock of Ages was open to the metro, many of the more than 20-person cast are West Fargo High School and Sheyenne High School alum.
"The crowds just keep growing," Amundson said during Sunday's performance. "The show is so good and people have just loved it. I am pretty sure Stage West is here to stay."
"Rock of Ages" will continue July 28-29. All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can still be purchased at www.westfargoevents.com.