The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis is a revered center for theater performance, production, education, and professional training.
It is located in the Twin Cities as a result of Sir Tyrone Guthrie, who wanted to to create a resident acting company that would produce and perform the classics in an atmosphere far away from the commercial pressures of Broadway. After Guthrie published an invitation in 1959 soliciting interest and involvement in a resident theater, Minneapolis was one of seven cities to respond. The Twin Cities was chosen not only because it's people were interested but also enutisatic for theater. The Guthrie seen below was completed in 1963.
The Guthrie opened its doors to the public on May 7, 1963, with a production of Hamlet. Throughout the 1960, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s it had many successful shows and won critical acclaim for performances such as of Henry V, Three Sisters, Oedipus the King, Love's Labour's Lost, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Marriage of Figaro, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard III, Medea and As You Like It. The production of The House of Atreus in 1968 was such a success it was taken on the road in a national tour that was a first for a resident theater.
Also in 1968 the Guthrie started expanding to other parts of the Twin Cities. A series of plays were done on the smaller stages of the Crawford-Livingston Theater and The Other Place. In 1985, artistic direct Garland Wright wanted to have a second, smaller stage that could act as a lab to enable the exploration of new work and performance techniques and thus the Guthrie Laboratory was born in the Minneapolis Warehouse District.
The Guthrie Theater troup moved to a new, three-theater building after closing its 2005 - 2006 season fittingly enough with a production Hamlet on May 7, 2006. In 2006, the Guthrie had finished construction of a new $125 million theater building along the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis (pictured above with part of the Mississippi River and Mill Ruins Park in the foreground). The design is the work of architect Jean Nouvel, along with the Minneapolis architectural firm Architectural Alliance. It is a 285,000 square foot facility that houses three theaters: a thrust stage that seats 1,100, a 700-seat proscenium stage, and a black-box studio with flexible seating. It also has a 178-foot cantilevered bridge to the Mississippi which is open to visitors during normal building hours.
The first Guthrie production at the new location was a stage-production of The Great Gatsby. It opened on July 15, 2006.