How To Get Involved In Minnesota’s Theater Community

July 21, 2014 6:00 AM

(credit: CRAIG LASSIG/AFP/Getty Images)

Minnesotans love a good night out at the theater. With a thriving performing arts community and the local support of many organizations and theater companies, opportunities to get involved are abundant. In just the Twin Cities alone, dozens of local playhouses and larger venues exist and run shows throughout the year. Involvement in these productions can be voluntary or may land an aspiring actor a paying gig. Enjoy the theater even more by becoming a part of it.

University of Minnesota
Department of Theatre Arts and Dance
Rarig Center
330 21st Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 625-6699

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the world of theater is to study it. The University of Minnesota houses a theater department that has been successfully promoting the performing arts for over 80 years. Students study the history of the theater and everything involved in the creation of a production. Over six performance theaters, including the Minnesota Centennial Showboat, are used by the students of the theater program and performances are held frequently throughout the year. Meet others interested in theater and develop connections for future involvement. The University of Minnesota also offers Masters degrees in actor training and design.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
501 W. 78th St.
Chanhassen, MN 55317
(952) 934-1547

A Minnesota staple since 1968, the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre attracts some of the best theater talent in the state. A professional acting company, Chanhassen holds auditions periodically throughout the year in order to accumulate new talent. Check out audition times or just apply for employment to help run the theater. Being around professional actors introduces you to the local theater community and it can be helpful to have these connections. The Chanhassen Dinner Theater also offers improv classes periodically along with a summer camp for youth. Get involved and get paid to do it!

Pillsbury House & Theatre
3501 Chicago Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55407
(612) 825-0459

Get involved in a community playhouse that is dedicated to supporting emerging talents. The Pillsbury House & Theatre is a non-profit community theatre that sponsors community engagement programs and promotes positive change. Original scripts and productions are performed to increase the visibility of new artists. Most of the productions focus on some aspect of society that needs to be changed. Pillsbury House & Theatre strives to make a difference in the community. Submit your script if you are a playwright or apply for a fellowship with the company. Auditions for actors are also held throughout the year.

Related: Best Outdoor Theaters In And Around Minnesota

(credit: CRAIG LASSIG/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: CRAIG LASSIG/AFP/Getty Images)

Guthrie Theater
818 S. 2nd St.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 225-6000

Volunteer to be an usher at the most prestigious theater in Minnesota. The Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis has been the destination for Shakespeare, classic plays and off-Broadway productions. Volunteers are rewarded with admission to the productions and access to the theater. While the Guthrie is always looking for donations of time and talent, internships are also available. See how the theater works first-hand and establish connections in the business. Jobs at the Guthrie are also looking to be filled.

Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council
2778 Commerce Drive N.W.
Rochester, MN 55901
(507) 281-4848

An organization dedicated to supporting the arts in Southern Minnesota, SMAC funds education programs, community theaters and individual artists. Eleven counties are represented and served by SMAC and volunteers are encouraged to help with the mission. Artists, dancers and those interested in the theater are encouraged to submit grant applications or contact the organization for recommendations on community theaters, classes or auditions.

Related: Best Places To See Ballet In Minnesota

Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on

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