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Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

Minneapolis/St. Paul: Theater

The Twin Cities are quietly home to one of the largest overall theater markets in the United States, a diverse, eclectic and robust scene anchored by several landmark organizations.  Many people already know about the Guthrie Theater and Children’s Theatre Company (both Regional Tony Award winners), the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Penumbra Theatre, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, and Mixed Blood Theatre, but for each of those organizations there are a dozen more producing beautiful, thought-provoking work. Pangea World Theater, the Jungle Theater, History Theatre, Mu Performing Arts, Theater Latté Da, Theatre Unbound and Cardinal Theatricals are just the beginning. Add to this group the number of excellent community and educational theaters and you will quickly see that whatever your personal theatrical poison, chances are the Twin Cities have it – and odds are excellent that you can afford it.

Depending on the time of year, there are many ways a frugal culture vulture can enjoy our lively theater scene. Visitors during the first week and a half of August, for example, can enjoy the wonderful wackiness of the Minnesota Fringe Festival. For the late night person, Ball’s Cabaret at the Southern Theater offers a weekly theatrical “open mic night”. If your taste in theater runs more to the traditional, the Minneapolis summer boasts many theater in the park events, from Shakespeare to new works, with our beautiful parks and  urban backdrops serving as excellent theatrical venues. Don’t forget, many theaters offer free tickets to volunteer ushers, and of course many houses offer rush tickets on the day of a performance or discounts if you buy the season package.  (Heidi Berg)

Minneapolis Theater: Theater Around Minneapolis

Below are our Minneapolis Theater recommendations, with information on location, admission, transportation/parking, theater history and other points of interest in Minneapolis Art.
 

Bedlam Theatre

Bedlam Theatre

NOTE: In late 2010, Bedlam lost their lease at 1501 S. 6th Street. Until they find a permanent home, the theatre is presenting shows at various venues in Minneapolis.

Celebrating the “bold,” the “avant garde,” and the “absurd,” the Bedlam Theatre is a refreshing presence on the vibrant Minneapolis arts scene, providing performance (and performance art) that is filled with exciting risks and unexpected departures. Eschewing the traditional theatrical form, audiences …more…

Childrens Theatre Company

Children’s Theatre Company

Recently named the “number one children’s theatre in the country” by Time Magazine, the Children’s Theatre Company and School is also one of the best regional companies in North America. Featuring unsurpassed production values, and an ever-exciting array of new and classic stories, CTC has set the standard for excellence in the theatre for young audiences field. A “must stop” destination for theatre lovers in the Twin Cities, the Children’s …more…

Guthrie Theater

Guthrie Theater

Opened in 2006, the new Guthrie Theatre was reimagined by artistic director Joe Dowling and architect Jean Nouvel as a gathering place for the community. Minnesotans who have yet to sample the Guthrie’s eclectic offerings (it’s not every theater that has an Arthur Miller play, a new musical version of Little House on the Prairie, and a Dar Williams concert in the space of a couple days) can still tell you …more…

History Theatre

History Theatre

Theatre lovers with a keen interest in the unique past of Minnesota and its place in the fabric of American life have found a comfortable home at the History Theatre. Dedicated to theatrical exploration of the diverse Minnesota communities, the History Theatre has, for over 30 years, presented a wealth of innovative world premieres, and popular plays and musicals all tied in some way to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” …more…

Illusion Theater

Illusion Theater

This company’s goal, since its inception in 1974, has been “to illuminate the illusions, myths, and realities of our times and use the power of theater to catalyze personal and social change.” Over the years, Illusion has commissioned or developed hundreds of original works that have been seen by more than one million people. Plays developed here have been staged at major theaters across the U.S., including the Mark Taper …more…

Jungle Theater

Jungle Theater

Housed at in intimate 150-seat venue in Lyn-Lake, the Jungle Theatre has for 20 seasons presented works aimed at highlighting the “tragic-comedy” experience of the human condition. Founded by acclaimed artistic director, Bain Boehike, the Jungle Theatre has become a popular place to see Minnesota’s favorite talent taking on some of the greatest roles of the last fifty years.

From the folly of Tennessee Williams’s women, to the spirit of Anne …more…

Minneapolis Musical Theatre

Minneapolis Musical Theatre

Now presenting its shows in the Illusion Theater venue at 528 Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, MMT offers popularly priced productions of musicals that have been rarely or never before seen by Twin Cities audiences. Founded in 1992, the company was originally a touring troupe that traveled the Midwest. In 1997/1998, Minneapolis Musical Theatre presented its first shows in the Twin Cities, at the Bryant Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater, and …more…

Minnesota Jewish Theatre

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company

Contributing to the multi-cultural spirit of the diverse Twin Cities arts scene, the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company does its part by presenting a schedule of dramas and musicals exploring the many facets of Judaic culture. From uniquely centered historical works like Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry’s musical Parade (about the Leo Frank murder trial) to Moonlight and Magnolias, the backstage story of David Selznick and the creation of “Gone …more…

Mixed Blood Theatre

Mixed Blood Theatre

Founded in 1976 by Jack Reuler, a young artist hoping to keep the spirit and philosophies of Dr. Martin Luther King alive in a theatrical art form, the Mixed Blood Theatre is now an award winning, multi-cultural playground for new and provocative dramas exploring the diverse human experience across the racial barrier. Presenting an extensive list of world premieres and area debuts, Mixed Blood’s past works have included the first …more…

Mu Performing Arts

Mu Performing Arts

Billed as the second largest pan-Asian performing arts organization in the U.S., Mu has two components: Theater Mu, an Asian American theater company, and Mu Daiko, a Japanese taiko drumming group. Founded as Theater Mu in 1992, the company has come to be known for its blending of Asian and Western artistic forms in the expression of Asian and Asian American stories and music. It presents four shows annually: three …more…

Park Square Theater

Park Square Theatre

One of Minneapolis’s greatest theatrical success stories, the Park Square has grown from humble beginnings to become one of the top professional companies in the Twin Cities. Bringing together regional premieres of new works from the UK and New York, with rarely produced classics, and adaptations from the best in world literature, the Park Square is known for presenting drama that is challenging but accessible.

Recent productions have included the first …more…

Penumbra Theatre Company

Penumbra Theatre Company

(NOTE: As of March 2012, the Penumbra is undergoing a financial restructure; it maintains plans to stage a full 2012-13 season)

Centered around plays exploring the African-American experience, Penumbra helped launch the professional career of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson. Productions produced during Penumbra’s thirty-year history have included seminal works like A Raisin in the Sun and Lost in the Stars, alongside the canon of such contemporary writers as Oliver Goldstick …more…

Pillsbury House Theatre

Pillsbury House Theatre

Launched in 1992, this company works in partnership with Pillsbury United Communities, one of the largest human services organizations in the state. Hailed as “the best theater for drama” by City Pages in 2006, the theater annually presents three mainstage productions, as well as the late-night series “Non-English Speaking Spoken Here” and two weekends of performances by emerging artists as part of the “Naked Stages” series. PHT’s community engagement initiatives …more…

Steppingstone Theater

Steppingstone Theater

International fairy tales abound at St. Paul’s premiere drama center for youth development, the Steppingstone Theatre. Since 1987, Steppingstone has honored its mission to instill children with a life long love of the arts, by presenting a full season of globetrotting stories, featuring a large bevy of young talent on its stages.

Now at home in its beautifully renovated 430-seat venue, the company was awarded the 2005 Sally Ordway Irvine Award …more…

Ten Thousand Things

Ten Thousand Things

This company’s recent productions have ranged from the musicals Man of La Mancha, My Fair Lady, and Once on This Island to Shakespeare’s Othello and Twelfth Night to John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt: A Parable. Established in 1993, Ten Thousand Things seeks to invigorate ancient tales, classic stories, and contemporary works through a search for honest, open interactions between actors and audiences in various non-traditional performance venues. The Pioneer Press wrote …more…

Theater Latte Da

Theater Latté Da

TLD’s recent productions of note have included Evita, The Full Monty, Parade, Floyd Collins, and All is Calm: The Truce of 1914. The company began operation in 1994 by producing five cabaret shows to display the broad range of talent among local artists. Theater Latté Da was officially incorporated in 1998, and has remained committed to experimentation with music and storytelling that expands the art form. To date, the company …more…