The current Guthrie facility opened on June 24, 2006, a month after closing our original home of 43 years. Our neighborhood is known as the Historic Mill District: it is here that Minneapolis grew up and grew strong on the back of the flour milling industry which capitalized on the energy generated by nearby St. Anthony Falls. Our site originally had been used as a railway yard for the flourmill industry. One can learn about the area’s history next door at the Mill City Museum.
WURTELE THRUST STAGE
The Guthrie's unique thrust stage reaches out to its audience. With a total of 1,100 seats on three sides and opportunities for actors to enter and exit the stage via backstage, an intricate collection of trap doors and elevators, and directly through the audience, patrons are at the center of the action.
The thrust stage itself is designed to change dramatically as each new production demands. By building a customized stage floor for each play, the size, shape, color and texture of the stage floor changes. This flexibility is essential in creating an appropriate environment for each individual production. Audiences throughout the season will delight in the many nuances possible in this classic space.
McGUIRE PROSCENIUM STAGE
A proscenium stage features a "picture frame" rectangular opening, allowing the entire audience to experience the play from the same vantage point, straight on, a perspective not possible on a thrust stage.
The majority of late 19th-century and virtually all of 20th-century drama is best suited to a proscenium stage. The Guthrie’s 700-seat proscenium theater also provides a home for future classics, and allows the Guthrie to work in partnership with other theaters in the region and across the country (who, for the most part, have only proscenium stages) and to host international companies as well.
Central to the Guthrie's mission is a commitment to nurture and develop the next generation of theater artists. The 200-seat Dowling Studio complements the Guthrie's programming and provides a totally flexible and well-equipped performance space to extend the theater's aesthetic, cultural and community connection.
The inspiration and vision for a studio space lies in the unique history and character of the "black box," which originated in the off-off-Broadway movement of the 1960s, and is responsible in part for the experimental nature of new American plays as well as the proliferation of American playwrights in the past four decades. The absence of color or architectural detail means that the vitality and dynamic life of the studio will be created by the people inside it - both the artists and the audience.