Guthrie’s Gamble

As Minneapolis’s huge new Guthrie Theater opens for business this weekend, there’s no question that the company has succeeded in building serious national buzz about its new home. But some observers wonder whether local audiences used to the old Guthrie’s intimate surroundings will be put off by the grand scale of the new complex. And it’s not as if theatregoers don’t have other choices. “Guthrie’s challenge in 1963 was to educate a market with only one Equity house, a few short-lived professional companies and a dozen community theaters. [Today, the company] is facing a mature — some would argue saturated — market in which he hopes to sell 140,000 more tickets each year.”