How to give Minneapolis theater tickets as a gift?
September 16, 2009 4:43 PM   Subscribe

I want to get theater tickets or maybe a subscription for my 'sister' in Minneapolis. I know that she and her partner are somewhat into the alternative theater scene there, and she also has a strong background in literature and music, so more classical theater works as well. They're also super busy so it has to be possible for them to fit the show(s) into their schedule. I know nothing about Minneapolis, or really about the theater world in general. Is there such a thing as a gift certificate to a theater? Which Minneapolis theater would you recommend? Other related present ideas are also very welcome. Thank you!
posted by Salamandrous to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The most prestigious theatre in Minneapolis is the Guthrie Theater. It looks like they have a lot of great subscription packages.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:50 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't call it alternative, but if you're unfamiliar with venues in Minneapolis, the Guthrie is the big blue bastion of theater in Minneapolis. (Seriously, it is enormous.) They have season passes and gift certificates.
posted by greenland at 4:54 PM on September 16, 2009

In the more alternative direction, there's the In The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, which I have had occasion to love madly in the past. They don't seem to have subscription packages, but individual tickets are pretty reasonably priced.
posted by dorque at 5:06 PM on September 16, 2009

The Southern Theater is one of the greatest theaters in town if you're trying to balance alternative with national-level quality. There are a good number of places where hippies are doing really out-there stuff, and some of it is really interesting, but they can sometimes be a little sketchy if you're not used to that type of environment. Smaller theaters (read: non-hippie) are hit or miss. When they're great, they're really great. But they're inconsistent. Big places like the Guthrie and the Ordway do great work, but I wouldn't call it innovative in any way.

Check out the Southern's calendar to see if you think your sister might dig it.

As for what to give, they have memberships as well as season subscriptions.

Full disclosure: I have a Southern membership, but it's exactly for the reasons above. I go to the Guthrie and the Ordway, as well as a ton of the smaller theaters. We have a great scene in the Twin Cities, but when I have a guest coming to town, or am asked for recomendations for one theater to check out, it's always the Southern.
posted by ochenk at 6:02 PM on September 16, 2009

This is a thoughtful gift! I'm sure they'll like it even if they end up seeing something they might not have chosen otherwise. I'm not a theater person, but some thoughts:

The Penumbra Theater seems to be highly regarded. A 3-play package is $75/seat. Also a possibility is the Mixed Blood Theatre.

The Minnesota Fringe Festival sounds like it would be up their alley, but it's done now for 2009 and you are probably looking for something sooner than next summer.

I would say the Southern Theater, if ochenk above hadn't already.

The University of Minnesota theater and dance departments have a subscriber series that appears to encompass both types of performances; not sure I'd characterize the choices as alternative, though.
posted by lakeroon at 8:11 PM on September 16, 2009

The State, the Orpheum and the Pantages are all organized together and called Hennepin Theater Trust, and they offer gift certificates.
posted by soelo at 8:59 PM on September 16, 2009

What everyone else said. Most of the theaters with a Hennepin Avenue address (the Hennepin Theater trust) are more commercial, and stage less in the way of plays unless they're musicals. Guthrie is the top choice, and my second choice would be the Fringe Festival.

If you know they'd have any inclination, the Minnesota Opera is also a big deal.

Theater is a big deal in the Twin Cities, but it's also degrading because of the economy. A lot of financial woes have shut down some good companies. For classical theater, Guthrie is still likely your best bet - or check out tickets at the University of Minnesota theater program.
posted by medea42 at 12:50 AM on September 17, 2009

Thank you so much everybody!
posted by Salamandrous at 1:01 PM on September 24, 2009

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