Mike Speck is ready for a new stage of his career -- by making use of an old stage.

Speck, the new director of operations for the Chatfield Center for the Arts, brings years of theater experience to the position. He plans to make more use of the stage in the 84-year-old Potter Auditorium in the former school building.

Enter the bard.

The art center will host Minneapolis-based Classical Actors Ensemblefor a performance of " A Midsummer Night’s Dream" May 7. Classical Actors Ensemble is a professional acting company that specializes in pieces and plays of the English Renaissance.

"We’re looking at not just being a center for concerts but a center for all the arts," Speck said. "As awesome as the music is -- and it is -- we want to expand use of the stage."

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Speck said he’s looking forward to seeing professional actors grace the stage, but admits it’s a bit of a leap of faith.

"We’re crossing our fingers a little bit," he said.

Producing a well-known Shakespeare work will help in a couple of ways, he said. One, the show itself, with mythical faeries and a fantastic setting can itself be a draw. Two, Shakespeare didn’t rely on massive sets to tell his stores.

"The neat thing about doing Shakespeare is his plays are made to be performed on a more open stage," Speck said. "There’s less in the way of heavy labor that needs to be done."

The Potter Auditorium does host a few other theater events. It’s home to Wit’s End Theatre and hosts productions by Chatfield High School, Speck said. Add in being in the center of a region rich in theater organizations and interest, Speck said he expects a good turnout.

"I’m optimistic because those high school theater and community theater crowds might be vested in seeing professional actors use that stage," he said.

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What: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

When: Thursday, May 7

Where: Potter Auditorium, Chatfield Center for the Arts, 405 Main St. S

Cost: $15 student and advance, $20 door, chatfieldarts.org or 507-884-7676

Due to concerns about coronavirus, this performance was postponed from Saturday, March 21, to Thursday, May 7.