June 28th, 2024

From Performer to Advocate: Zachary Petersen’s Impact on Fairmont Opera House

by Katelyn Langwith

Summer Youth Theater Camps: A Week of Fun and Growth

Zachary Petersen, a passionate advocate for the arts and Board Member of the Fairmont Opera House, recently shared his journey and motivations for supporting our cherished institution. His commitment to the Opera House is deeply rooted in a sense of duty, pride, and a dedication to education and the arts.

Motivation and Initial Involvement

Zachary’s involvement with the Fairmont Opera House began with a request from an old high school friend and fellow board member, Mike Edman. “I used to perform with Mike in Fairmont High School theater productions. His credibility and the honor of being asked were my initial motivations to get more involved,” Zachary shared.

His goals for joining were clear: “I wanted to improve and support the enhancement of all aspects of the Opera House. This includes the building itself, the quality of programming, and most importantly, the quality of Fairmont Area Community Theater.”

For Zachary, the mission of the Fairmont Opera House is multifaceted. “It’s about enhancing the quality of arts and entertainment, improving cultural experiences, and increasing community involvement. Specifically, it’s about educating local people about theater and social issues through theater,” he emphasized. 

Personal Experiences and Inspiration

Reflecting on his past roles, Zachary shared, “My experiences with local theater at Fairmont High School and with Civic Summer Theater (now Fairmont Area Community Theater) are numerous, and I honestly struggle to think of even one negative aspect.” He fondly recalled learning from professionals like Cliff and Roxy Janke. “It was humbling to play larger parts in high school productions and then take on age-appropriate roles at Civic Summer Theater. Seeing how adults conducted themselves in rehearsals and performances was incredibly educational,” he said. 

His personal experience in community theater has been a strong motivator for his role as a board member. “What excites me most [about the Fairmont Opera House] is the chance to showcase our excellent local talent and to give community members the opportunity to appear on stage in a theatrical production.” he explained.

Why Support Fairmont Opera House?

hen asked why he is a strong advocate for the Fairmont Opera House, Zachary emphasizes the role that the Fairmont Area Community Theater plays in the community.. “The purpose of theater is to entertain and educate. Theater provokes critical thought, which our community greatly needs, especially today,” he asserted. “Supporting the Fairmont Opera House does not merely  help it achieve these goals but greatly enhances its ability to do so.”

Zachary’s story is a testament to the transformative power of local theater and its profound impact on individuals and the community at large. His dedication and passion for the arts continue to inspire those around him, reinforcing the importance of supporting institutions like the Fairmont Opera House.

For more information about the Fairmont Opera House and to learn how you can get involved or support their work, please visit our “Ways to Give” page.

How you can help!

The Fairmont Opera House needs your support to repair its roof truss system and preserve our historic facility.  We ask that you give generously to ensure that our institution remains able to provide cultural experiences for generations to come.


To learn more about our work here at Fairmont Opera House or share your own story with us, click the links below!

Our History: 1889-1980’s

Our History: 1889-1980’s

FROM WHENCE WE CAME This brief history is derived from Thomas Arneson’s historic work on the...

Box Office Hours:
9:00am-2:30pm and 1 hour prior to Event

*Doors Open 1 Hour Before Event, House Opens 30 mins Before Event