By Solomon Gustavo
DASSEL, COKATO, MN - James Frickstad graduated from Dassel-Cokato High School in 2009 and returns, after graduating from the University of Minnesota-Morris, as the theater arts director. He will direct the fall musical and a one-act play in the winter.
This year’s fall musical is “Beauty and the Beast.”
Frickstad chose “Beauty and the Beast” after consulting with pit orchestra conductor Brian Veith, music teacher Nate Raabe, and prop master (and his mother) Deb Moen. He said his aim is to have a “show that can incorporate as many people as possible,” in the hopes of growing the DC theater program.
Also, he enjoys the play.
“I love the music, it’s absolutely beautiful, and the lighting effects with a castle. You get to build a castle, how sweet is that,” he said.
The play is different than the movie, Frickstad said. It’s more in depth in that there is richer character development, particularly the relationship between the character Belle and her father something Frickstad said audiences should anticipate.
After selecting the musical, which Frickstad said will require 25 students on stage, another 25 in the pit orchestra, seven in tech, and many more to help paint the set, he assembled a set-building crew of adults to carry out building that castle and other set pieces.
This will be the directing debut for Frickstad, who went through the DC fine arts program himself, participating in plays under the direction and tutelage of Dave Metcalf. He said his aim is to continue Metcalf’s artistic tradition.
“He inspired me and I know he’s inspired countless amounts of students all around the area. Whenever I’m directing, I hear his voice,” Frickstad said.
Shows are Friday and Saturday Nov. 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for youth (18 years old and younger), and are on sale now.