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FACT to present comedy

Above: ‘Drinking Habits’ debuts at the Fairmont Opera House this next week. Cast members Corey Shoen, left, Ellen Germaine and Chris Bauman rehearse a scene from the comedy show.

FAIRMONT — Fairmont Area Community Theater is gearing up to present ‘Drinking Habits.’ The comedy, made up of a local cast, will show Thursday through Sunday at the Fairmont Opera House.

The play is directed by Samantha Rosenberg. Rosenberg is the technical director and program coordinator for FACT. This will be her first time directing a show at the Fairmont Opera House.

Rosenberg was the stage manager and lighting designer for ‘Mamma Mia!’ which showed this summer at the Opera House. She also was the stage manager for “Little House on the Prairie,” which showed last summer.

Rosenberg shared that “Drinking Habits” is made up of a smaller cast of eight because the original plan was to do it last spring.

“That was when Covid was big and booming, so we were going to do Little House and then this since they’re both small-cast shows, but this got cancelled,” she said.

Since they already had the rights, Rosenberg said they decided to do it this fall.

“Originally, yes, we chose it because of the small cast number. But it’s just a funny show, it fits our community well,” she said.

‘Drinking Habits’ is about a pair of nuns who are secretly making and selling wine so that their convent doesn’t close, but Mother Superior doesn’t like wine. Rosenberg said basically the whole show is about hiding that secret.

The cast members include: Lynne Burgraff, Corey Shoen, Shawn Shoen, Odessa Stade, Ellen Germaine, Josh Ensrud, Kaylee Bauman and Chris Bauman.

While the Opera House often brings in professional touring groups, executive director Blake Potthoff said they’ve recently been focusing more on local talent, especially since Covid is still a concern.

Rosenberg said FACT will be putting on four shows a year: a musical in the summer, comedy in the fall, small cast show in the winter and Shakespeare in the spring.

She said ‘Drinking Habits’ is made up of some returning cast members who have done other shows with FACT. They also have a few members who are new to the Opera House stage.

One returning cast member is Corey Shoen, who has taken part in more than 20 shows.

“I was 12 when I started doing theater,” he said.

Shoen said ‘Drinking Habits’ is made up of clever writing and ample jokes. He said he’s really enjoyed watching his fellow cast members bring their characters to life.

“It’s hard to imagine my life without the Opera House. It’s about the community and the people here. I’ve been working with some of the people here for 15 years. Every year it’s like your family grows a little bit bigger,” Shoen said.

He appreciates the diversity of the people he’s gotten to do shows with. He’s also been able to act alongside his father, Shawn. The two started doing shows together at the Opera House years ago.

‘Drinking Habits’ will be shown at 7 p.m. Oct. 14th through 16th and at 2 p.m on Oct. 17th. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or beforehand at fairmontoperahouse.org.

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