Saturday, June 24, 2006

Minnesota's Guthrie Theater Sets Stage for Its Second Act

Minnesota's Guthrie Theater Sets Stage for Its Second Act

Just over 43 years after its debut as one of America's most prestigious theatres, Minnesota's Guthrie Theater -- named for the legendary British actor and director Tyrone Guthrie -- is about to get its second act in a dazzling new performance space along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

The new house contains three theatres, including its trademark thrust mainstage. The grand opening for the spectacular facility is set for this weekend and includes plenty of performances, stylish fetes, fireworks and free tours.

Festivities on Sunday, June 25 that are open to the public include:

Noon Doors Open
Noon - 6 pm Guthrie Learning Center, Family Activities – Free
Noon - 6 pm Dowling Studio, A Guthrie Experience for Actors in Training – Free
Noon - 5 pm Outdoor Public Plaza, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre with The Brass Messengers – Free
Noon – 5 pm Level 5 Lobby, Hornheads – Free
1 pm Wurtele Thrust Stage, Joe Dowling dedication address – Free (ticket required – call for reservations)
2 – 3:30 pm Wurtele Thrust Stage, VocalEssence under the direction of Philip Brunelle – Free
7 pm Wurtele Thrust Stage, Peter Himmelman – $10 ticketed event
8 pm McGuire Proscenium Stage, Heiruspecs – $10 ticketed event
9 pm Wurtele Thrust Stage, The Steeles – $10 ticketed event
9:30 pm McGuire Proscenium Stage, P.O.S. – $10 ticketed event
10:30 pm Riverfront Stone Arch Bridge, Public Fireworks – Free
10:30 pm Dowling Studio, Dance Party – Free
2 am Conclusion

Click here for information on ticketed events.

According to the Guthrie's historical guide, it:

...opened on May 7,1963 with a production of Hamlet directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie, the theater's founder. The idea of the theater began in 1959 during a series of conversations among Guthrie and two colleagues -- Oliver Rea and Peter Zeisler -- who were disenchanted with Broadway. They wanted to create a theater with a resident acting company that would perform the classics in rotating repertory with the highest professional standards.

The rest, as they might say, is theatre history. The next season begins in earnest with a production of DruidSynge – created by Druid Theatre Company of Galway, Ireland -- on the McGuire Proscenium Stage June 27. The first production on the Wurtele Thrust Stage will be F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, beginning July 15.

I've seen many wonderful productions at the Guthrie's former home, and I was pleased to be in the audience for its last production of Hamlet that brought the famed theatre full circle to its origins with Tyrone Guthrie. You can bet that I'll be a regular patron of this exciting new facility.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.

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