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ACT welcomes area native into newly created position

Megan Reimnitz

Art changes lives.

That’s the passionate approach the Mitchell Area Community Theatre’s new managing director, Megan Reimnitz, wants her community to know.

Reimnitz, a Corsica native, graduated in May from Dakota Wesleyan University with a bachelor of fine arts in theater, and started in her position at the ACT on June 1.

It’s a new position, created to help the theater continue the growth and success it has enjoyed in the last several years, according to Terri Jacklin, president of the ACT’s board of directors.

“Megan was our best candidate,” Jacklin said. “She just seemed like she was the perfect fit. She has the enthusiasm and drive, and everything that we need.”

The only other full-time staff member at the ACT is Carm Roster, theater manager. Along with promoting the arts, Reimnitz’s role will devote her time to fundraising, event planning and additional projects, like the recently unveiled artist displays that will be featured at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre in conjunction with the ACT’s seasonal plays.

“The Mitchell area has so much potential to be a lively and thriving community enriched in the arts,” Reimnitz told The Daily Republic via email. “Hopefully we can show the people of this area that our geography does not have to limit our options. We have all the resources we need right here.”

The ACT board of directors said there will be a Chamber’s Ambassador visit from the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce at noon on July 29 in the theater lobby. The open house will include free pop and popcorn, and a chance for the public to meet Reimnitz.

Q: What made you interested in this position?

A: When I became involved with theater, I never had giant dreams of moving out to Los Angeles or New York and becoming a famous actress in plays or movies. My dream was to be able to do what I love every day. This job is exactly that.

Q: What will you do in your role as managing director?

A: I have two main goals as managing director. My most important goal for this theater is, of course, to ensure that the productions here at ACT are of the best quality possible, while still being affordable for our community members.

My next goal, and something I am very excited about, is to see to it that this community becomes enriched with all types of cultural arts. So many times I’ve heard from younger generations that this town has nothing to do, or nothing to offer. But that is just not true. When I look at this town, I see all the untapped potential this area has to offer.

Q: Will this added position have a big change on the ACT or ACT productions?

A: Hopefully it will be a big change for both. As I mentioned with the Show Featured Artist Project, we have so much unrecognized talent in this area but limited ways of showcasing them to the community. I hope to be able to showcase all the different types of talent in this area, in all form of art and expression, while also building a stronger sense of community pride. Our outreach can extend over 70 miles in some directions.

These areas have very limited options in what is offered to them culturally. I’m hoping that will soon no longer be the case.

Q: You've mentioned upcoming projects for the ACT, and in your goals as managing director, it seems like the ACT is trying to take a more proactive role in promoting the arts outside of putting on plays. Is that an accurate statement?

A: Very accurate statement! It says right in our mission statement “to promote ongoing support of performing AND CULTURAL arts.” ACT has always done this, but now that we are growing we have the capabilities to expand on it even more. New workshops, events, fundraisers and projects will start coming up all in hopes to promote and unite all forms of art in this area.

Q: Why do you think that's important to do?

A: Communities need art. I think the most important is the pride it builds in a community. Using community theater as an example, people can go to a play and are proud to identify performers as “my teacher,” “my neighbor,” “my student” or even “my dentist.”

It can also be used as a social tool and hold a mirror up to society. We try to add plays into the year that dive into issues such as mental health, bullying, coming of age and not fitting in, and so many others. Plays can cause us to pay more attention to how we treat our fellow man and how we act and think. Arts, as a whole, does all of this.

Q: You will play Ulla in the ACT’s August show, “The Producers.” How difficult is it to manage working at the ACT while also performing in a play?

A: Let’s just say I’m getting my money’s worth out of my new coffee maker. I think the most difficult part, though, is separating my work life from my personal life. ... Theater is my life, I guess you could say. People who live with me can attest to that. Someone says the word “Baltimore” and I’m breaking out in song, singing “Good Morning Baltimore” from Hair Spray. It’s a disease

Q: What is your favorite thing about theater?

A: How life-changing it can be. Theater represents such a diversity of age, culture, life experience, and so many other things. No matter what walk of life you are from, there’s a place for you in theater because they are just so accepting of everyone. Being heavily involved in theater has made me grow so much in the last four years. I’ve become a stronger individual with amazing life experiences while being able to meet the most amazing people from all over the country and even the world.

Q: What is your least-favorite thing about theater?

A: Least favorite is hard. The only thing I can think of is something that is completely my own fault. I’ve made a lot of small sacrifices and committed so much of my time to theater. While others were off in South Padre for spring break, I would be building a set or getting together costumes. But that is for anything you have a passion for. I understand that to make something spectacular you have to put a lot of work and effort in to it; it’s not going to just happen. In the end it’s all worth it. When you have people coming up to you days later saying how wonderful you were in this play or that, or how moved they were by a play, it makes those small sacrifices and all that time seem like nothing.