Theatre in the Round's new exterior is going to be amazing


The Twin Cities loves its public art, especially murals. But now it's time to take it to the next level. Theatre in the Round's new murals will enter the 3-D realm.

Or, at least, the illusion of 3-D. It's called a trompe l’oeil mural, where an artist uses perspective and careful shading to create an effect that looks as though it's multi-dimensional. 

Muralist John Pugh has created 250-plus works around the world. This will be his first project in Minnesota.

“It demands investigation. It brings fun, wit, and very playful things within,” says Pugh of the planned design. “[It's] one of the most powerful murals I’ve ever done.”

“[Pugh's] work in 3-D art is astonishing” says Stephanie Long, TLD's president of the board of Directors. “And the murals he’s come up with for TRP are stunning.” 

Starting this spring, he'll be coming to town to work on three exterior walls of the West Bank building. Facing the light-rail station will be the most challenging piece, which features a brick wall bending back like wallpaper as a mysterious orb-thing floats through. The Seven Corners side will also have bricks peeling away, revealing bits of the stage and dressing rooms of the theater. The side that faces Washington will once again boast a blueprint-like design.

The project is all part of major renovations to the 100-plus-year-old building. Theatre in the Round moved into the Minneapolis space in 1968. This summer, the theater updated and repaired a variety of issues. Now, they're ready to make things sparkle with exterior work. The whole project will end up costing around $400,000. Most of the funds for the effort have come from private donations and fundraising, though the theater also currently has a Kickstarter page.