The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts began as a dream of Sally Ordway Irvine, a St. Paul resident and heiress of the 3M company. She envisioned a multi-purpose facility that would feature “everything from opera to the Russian circus.” Opened in 1985 as the Ordway Music Theatre, its name changed in 2000 to evince the diversity of performing arts featured on its two stages.
The Ordway is one of the state’s leading performing arts centers, serving approximately 400,000 people annually with a range of performances including world music and dance, musical and children’s theatre, orchestral and chamber music, and opera. It is the home of local performing arts companies the Minnesota Opera, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Schubert Club.
In the summer, the Ordway presents the Flint Hills International Children’s Festival, serving over 50,000 children and adults. The Ordway also sponsors the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, a pre-professional artistic and academic education program for students grades 9-12.
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Information
- Public Transportation: Good (accessible by a number of public bus routes)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Nearly 500 performances annually
- Ticket Prices: Vary widely ($10-200) depending on event and seating choice
- Group Discounts: Groups of 10 or more visitors receive discounts, as well as benefits such as priority seating, no reservation fees, and more
- Subscriptions/Membership: Subscriptions are available to the Ordway’s Theater Season (six productions) and World Music and Dance Series (seven productions); also available is a Pick-Your-Own subscription package good for three or more performances from either series. Subscriber benefits include discounted tickets, priority seating, ticket exchange privileges, and more.