Guthrie readies anniversary celebrations

Co-hosts Sally Wingert and Greta Oglesby.
Co-hosts Sally Wingert and Greta Oglesby.
Photo by Carly Beetsch

Fifty years after a production of Hamlet opened one of the Twin Cities' signature theaters, the Guthrie is ready for a big, big party.

Several events are planned for this weekend, including Behold, an all-star gala Saturday evening, and a day-long free open house Sunday.

The gala has been months in the planning, and features an intriguing mix of Guthrie veterans, more recent performers, and national (and international) stars, says associate producer Elizabeth Deacon.

"I'm excited about it all," Deacon says after being asked if she had a favorite part. "It features people who have been onstage here for a long time, like Peter Michael Goetz, and actors who have graduated from the B.F.A. program, like Matthew Amendt."

Local vocal ensemble Cantus is also on the bill for the 90-minute program, as are some international heavy hitters, such as Tracie Bennett and Whoopi Goldberg, who is making her first appearance at the theater since 1988. 

Guthrie stalwarts Sally Wingert and Greta Oglesby will serve as co-hosts.

Tickets for Saturday evening run between $150 and $500, though there is the possibility of nabbing a cheaper seat. Remaining tickets will be sold for $50 starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. 

If you are looking for a cheaper way to celebrate the anniversary -- or want to get a behind-the-scenes look -- Sunday features a free community celebration running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is plenty on tap for this, including a 5-kilometer fun run, backstage tours, and performances of Millie and Tillie by Open Eye Figure Theatre. 

"We are really excited about Sunday. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. People can sample something like a class or a backstage tour or watch a stage combat demonstration," Deacon says.

"This community has been so supportive of the Guthrie for the last 50 years. So many people have stayed with us, as donors and patrons, and a lot of that can shine and come through in celebrating a milestone like this. It sets up the next 50 years very well. The next year can be better than the last," Deacon says.


Behold: A Gala Performance
8:30 p.m. Saturday
$150-$500. If available, show-only $50 tickets go on sale 11 a.m. Saturday.
Community Celebration
10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Sunday
818 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis
For tickets and more information, call 612.377.2224 or visit online.

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Guthrie Theater

818 S. 2nd St.
Minneapolis, MN 55415


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