• Kellie Sink

The Grinch comes to the stage in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall

Since 1957, the Grinch has become a holiday tale known by many; this holiday season, the Christmas classic comes to Minot State University in the form of dance. Studio X, a dance company in Minot, will be putting on “How the Grinch Stole X-mas” as their winter production. Under the new ownership of April Ireland, and the instruction of Joshua Wise, the studio has been preparing for the upcoming show for the last few months.

“Basically, as the artistic director, my job here is to completely create the show from whatever concept we’re going with. So, this year being the Grinch, it’s to take all the different versions of the Grinch that exist in the world and decide kind of what our show was going to be, how to put it all together with the music, and then cast the show and choreograph the show,” Wise said.

With four instructors and over 100 dancers, the show is coming together piece by piece. Nearly every class, all that include choreography, have their own piece in the production. The main roles, however, are cast through an audition process. While many may think choosing main characters would be a difficult part of the process, Wise feels opposite.

“As auditions are happening, you already see the kids start to step into roles and see them really become those roles. So, I really kind of feel the like shows always kind of cast themselves. It’s not really a chore at all,” Wise said.

While casting is a breeze, there are other challenges that arise when it comes to turning a non-musical, into a musical.

“I think with this show for me, the hardest part has been actually picking the music and figuring out how the music plays into the show. In the past, the majority of our productions have already been musicals to begin with, they’ve already had a really strong musical score to go from,” Wise said. “With the Grinch, there’s not an actual Grinch musical that already exists, so, I’ve had to take and just figure out what music works in which scene, how it makes sense, and where it fits.”

Ireland said her favorite part about being the owner is watching all the hard work the studio puts in come together.

“It’s going to be a great show, I’ve watched the rehearsals and I can’t stop laughing. I think this is going to be one of the funniest ones that we’ve ever put on,” Ireland said. “I’m super proud of it already and I’ve only watched a little bit of rehearsals. The girls put a lot of time into it, the teachers work non-stop on it for music, down to the choreography, and costuming.”

“I always say our productions are second to none, I don’t think there’s anything else like them in our region, you know,” Wise said. “To really put on a full dance show from the lighting, the sound, the set design, and the costuming—the full-on production. And to see kids in the community get to participate in something of this caliber, I just think it’s amazing.”

The show will be performed November 17 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and November 18 at 2 p.m. in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall at Minot State University.

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