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Dustin Hoffman, Director

8/8/2004:

The Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre staged its first production, My Sister Aileen, in 1946, and until getting permanent facilities in 1967, they staged their shows wherever they could. In 1963, an east coast actor was hired to direct two of their plays, at least one of which was produced in the Red River Playhouse.

In 2002, when he was interviewed by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune at the Toronto Film Festival, he realized the paper’s proximity to North Dakota. “Can I tell you a story?” he asked the reporter. “I was a young, unemployed actor living in New York City. This was back in the ‘50s. Couldn’t get a job, even waiting tables. I went up to the Equity office – you know, the [stage actors’] union office – to see if there was anything. And one week there was. There was a note saying that the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater (sic) needed an artistic director. I applied, and I got the job. You know Fargo? I love it.”

He was Dustin Hoffman, who four years later performed his break-out role in the hit movie, “The Graduate.” Today is his birthday.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm