Our Spaces

An architectural marvel 

Our building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, who shared his vision to reflect the history of the neighborhood in his design statement: “The Guthrie is coming to settle in the historic golden rectangle near the falls, next to the old mills, in the industrial quarter that invented Minneapolis. Thus two histories, two legends, meet.”

Open to the public year-round, the Guthrie houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms, full-service restaurants and dramatic public lobbies.

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Theater spaces

Wurtele Thrust Stage

Designed to reach out into the audience and place patrons at the center of the action, the thrust has 1,100 seats that encircle the stage on three sides. Actors are able to enter and exit from backstage, through the audience or via an intricate collection of trap doors and elevators.

The house lights shine down on the multicolored audience seats in an empty Wurtele Thrust Stage.

McGuire Proscenium Stage

Our 700-seat proscenium stage features a rectangular, picture-frame opening that allows the entire audience to experience the play from a straight-on vantage point — a perspective not possible on a thrust stage. The majority of late 19th-century and 20th-century drama is best suited to a proscenium stage.

Dowling Studio

As a black box theater, the 199-seat Dowling Studio complements our mainstage programming. This flexible, well-equipped performance space is ideal for presenting new works and hosting innovative theater companies from the Twin Cities and beyond.

A 21st-century dream factory


Brazen, outrageous and wonderful — a building as drama queen


A captivating building that is a singular presence

Los Angeles Times

Building highlights

The Pohlad Lobby outside the Dowling Studio features an amber glass box that is cantilevered 15 feet from the face of the building and provides a near 360-degree view of our historic neighborhood. 

The Endless Bridge, one of the Guthrie’s most noteworthy features, is a cantilever that extends 178 feet from the face of the building and hovers 55 feet above the parkway. 

Printed on 7,000 sheets of onionskin paper, the production images on our walls and ceilings create a theatrical narrative throughout the building. 

The curved, blue hallway leading to the Wurtele Thrust Stage is lined with backlit images from past Guthrie productions.

Backlit images from past productions line the lobby walls near the proscenium and thrust stages. 

The exterior walls feature eight production images that are screen-printed on steel panels and intended to come to life in the evening light. 

Visitors can get a glimpse backstage by peering through the blue-tinted glass wall in the Level Four lobby.

Our artisans build and paint scenery for each production in our onsite scene shop that spans 20,000 square feet. 

The production link is a vital connection that allows scenery, which can weigh more than a ton, to move between our scene shop and mainstages with ease. 

Inside our onsite costume shop, artisans construct costumes, create wigs, paint and dye fabric, build costume crafts (all non-apparel items) and manage each actor’s wardrobe. 

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