Planners hope for activity at theater

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 24, 2003

While the Albert Lea Civic Theatre won’t be hosting a theatre company this summer, the plans are to keep the theatre building a hub of activity.

Civic Theater Manager Patrick Rasmussen said he learned in December that Minnesota Festival Theatre would be unable to stage a season this year, so he began talking with another theatre company.

&uot;We negotiated for quite a while, but they couldn’t get beyond certain things,&uot; Rasmussen said of the theatre company.

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But Albert Lea Community Theatre will be doing a children’s theatre production at the theatre in June, and another one in September.

And Rasmussen has arranged for Dudley Riggs’ Brave New Workshop to present two workshops for kids in July. One workshop is for ages 9-14 and the other for ages 15-18.

The theatre manager said a Feb. 20 performance by guitarist Leo Kottke was extremely successful, and he hopes to bring in more entertainers like him.

&uot;A lot of artists like to do smaller theatres,&uot; he said. &uot;Right now I’m talking with some comedians from Minneapolis.&uot;

In addition, he’d like to have an event at the theatre to complement the Eddie Cochran Weekend. &uot;And we hope to be showing movies &045; independent and classic and maybe some Latino &045; by next fall,&uot; Rasmussen said.

In September, the theatre plans to host an ethnic festival, and Monroe Crossing will be back for another concert in November.

Rasmussen said he’s also been talking with the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau about using the theatre building for conventions and corporate events.