Hennepin Theatre Trust stories
A year of coping and creating for Minnesota students
You can tell high school musical theater students that they can’t meet in in person, but you can’t tell them they can’t create. High schools across Minnesota were preparing for their big spring performances when they were forced to shut down rehearsals in March 2020. Those shutdowns led to a flurry of creativity, problem solving and growth unlike anything we've seen before.
Spotlight graduate's advice to students: Take risks
Now a senior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in elementary education and developmental psychology, Kate continues to perform and hone her talents. “Spotlight gave me the confidence to still keep performing and theater in my life without making it my career,” she says. “I still have opportunities to perform. It’s a wonderful career option but not the only option. Spotlight helps you see you have options.”
Radio drama brings intergenerational connection during COVID
Richard Hitchler was already fighting isolation in the Twin Cities before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The virus provided him a new challenge, but it’s only making him double down on his efforts. “I had read that isolationism and health issues arise in people in this age range ... It has doubled in the time of COVID. Theater to me is the ultimate combatant to this issue."
Student Leaders tackle social media and social issues
Starting the summer before her high school senior year, Nelsy Torres was looking for more leadership experience to add to her already impressive resume. Her summer internship got her that and much more — including insight into a career path.
Minnesota students shine at Virtually Together
When Hennepin Theatre Trust streamed Virtually Together — this summer’s Spotlight Education program celebrating high school theater in Minnesota — students across the state watched, waiting for one of many big reveals.
Blog: Reflections of the world premiere of The Lion King
When Disney’s The Lion King played in Minneapolis at the Orpheum Theatre in the summer of 1997 for its pre-Broadway premiere, I had been back in the Twin Cities for a little less than two years.
Honoring The FAIR School Downtown's class of 2020
Hennepin Theatre Trust and Clear Channel Outdoor have partnered to celebrate and honor The FAIR School Downtown’s graduating class of 2020 by displaying messages of congratulations on the billboard atop 900 Hennepin in downtown’s Hennepin Theatre District. The messages will be on display throughout June.
Blog: A reflection for students during COVID-19
All the world’s a stage has never been truer than now amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I have seen living rooms become recording studios, garages transform into dance floors, and even utility closets give way to monologue coaching. Technology has allowed us all to create our own stages and, though we are at a distance, we are still creating magic together.
A Dose of Art
Artists and the arts community have been banding together to provide a guiding light during this difficult time. If you need some connection to treat your social distancing blues, browse these videos live-streamed from Broadway stars, playlists, articles and more.
Hennepin Theatre Trust COVID-19 updates
In response to COVID-19 circumstances, Hennepin Theatre Trust is working with its partners and promoters to reschedule upcoming events. For the most up-to-date information, visit our COVID-19 information page often.
COVID-19 community resource list
As an organization that drives the cultural and economic vitality in the Hennepin Theatre District and across Minnesota, we want to help connect you to resources to help you navigate this difficult time.
Black and queer artists with something to say on display at Hennepin Theatre Trust
“Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself, and then stand up for somebody else.” If anyone embodies these Maya Angelou words, it’s a sure-footed artist with a shaved head, wearing a perfectly tailored outfit as she speaks out in support of natural Black hair and against anti-sagging.
Downtown students treated to career talk and performance
What gets the attention of high school students? A pop mashup featuring Lizzo, Billie Eilish and more is a good start!
Tips to plan the perfect theater weekend getaway
With the 2020-2021 Bank of America Broadway on Hennepin season recently announced, it’s the perfect time to plan a theater getaway weekend. Whether you’re coming into downtown Minneapolis from out of town or planning a city staycation, here are some foolproof ways to turn an event in to a weekend and get the most out of the city.
That time I was mistaken for a food critic
I once heard a radio ad that urged listeners to buy diamonds for their one true love because “you never remember flowers or a meal you ate once.” That guy should have been there the time I was mistaken for a food critic.
Trust recognized by City of Minneapolis for innovative placemaking work
At a celebration of all good things happening in Minneapolis’ Ward 3, Council Member Steve Fletcher Wednesday awarded Hennepin Theatre Trust a Best in Placemaking award for its 5 to 10 on Hennepin live event series. The events, held once each month May through November, mostly serve individuals experiencing homelessness and create ways for attendees to experience and enjoy art and music.
Local bands bring global beat to downtown Minneapolis
The scene that served as our inspiration: A mix-up at the Israeli border leads the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra to a sleepy desert town where they are forced to spend the night. There is one café and no hotels.
Planning for the future of the Hennepin Theatre District
“There are countless stories to be told from [Hennepin Avenue’s] past, and so many stories that have yet to be created here. So how will Hennepin be the place where these stories are shared for the next hundred years, and who will tell them?” Those are the questions that can’t escape Joan Vorderbruggen’s mind as she kicks off the new year in the Hennepin Theatre District.
Historic autographed Broadway posters on display for limited time
What makes Minneapolis one of the best places to see theater? Check out an impressive collection of autographed Broadway posters that gives us a glimpse into the grand tradition of Broadway on Hennepin Avenue.
5 to 10 on Hennepin event series closes season with a community meal
The savory aroma of jerk chicken, rice and beans and sweet potatoes greeted visitors as they entered the Hennepin Theatre Trust Event Center on the day before Thanksgiving. The Trust’s upbeat 5 to 10 on Hennepin community music series wrapped up the 2019 season with a hearty community meal.
Gift experiences not stuff this holiday
Struggling to figure out what to gift your favorite people this holiday season? Check out this list of seven creative ways to slow down, stay local and replace a gift with quality time with your loved ones.
Student Leaders begin college after summer at Hennepin Theatre Trust
The four recent high school graduates who spent the summer learning and cultivating career skills at Hennepin Theatre Trust are all beginning their college journeys at area institutions.
Donate to our clothing drive and enjoy a drink discount
If you’re heading to The Phantom of the Opera, don’t miss your chance to donate to our warm clothing drive. Click here for details on the drive and how you can get a $1 discount at the Jack Link's Legends Lounge.
Reflecting on "Voicing the Unspoken Struggle"
Hennepin Theatre Trust and Fraser Minnesota partnered to host a community panel inspired by the mental health theme in Dear Evan Hansen. The panel answered crowd questions at the community conversation about the issues of social anxiety, depression and suicide as they’re portrayed in the Tony Award-winning musical.
People of Hennepin Avenue take center stage
“Through public art, like the project we are here to celebrate today, exceptional entertainment and events, you are ushering us into the next 100 years,” says Sen. Bobby Joe Champion about the Trust and stakeholders who help make these projects possible. “Here is to the people of Hennepin Avenue and next 100 years of the Hennepin Theatre District!”
Wishes and dreams take center stage at inclusive musical revue
Most of the performers in the musical revue When You Wish Upon a Star have a hard time picking one favorite song. That’s not the case for Grace Renstrom, a high school senior in Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Spotlight Education program. She says “Singin’ in the Rain” is special.
Stories From the Book of Harbor Light lifts voices and creates hope
Audience members and artists share the impact of zAmya Theater Project’s new show. A collaboration with Hennepin Theatre Trust and The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center, the play Stories From the Book of Harbor Light premiered at 900 Hennepin, sparking conversation about homelessness.
Trailblazing Women: In the Spirit of Harriet Tubman
“Get low! Get low!” The booming direction from the mouth of Harriet Tubman commanded a room full of people on a trip through a dark period of U.S. history. Those words — at one point in time — might have saved the lives of the people in Tubman’s care. This night, those words served as a call to action — to share in that history and its lessons.
Stories from the Book of Harbor Light
zAmya Theater works with residents at The Salvation Army’s Harbor Center to create a new show about homelessness to premiere at Hennepin Theatre Trust’s 900 Hennepin.
EduHam in Minneapolis gives students starring roles in their own version of history
For students from more than 30 high schools in Minnesota and beyond, the best part about spending a day at the historic Orpheum Theatre to see HAMILTON was actually performing on the stage where it happens themselves. Through rap, monologue and even folk guitar, students participating in a program known as EduHam seized opportunities to do what HAMILTON actors do: tell stories about history through musical theatre.
Arts activation brings energy, empathy and inclusion to Hennepin Avenue
Hennepin Theatre Trust launched 5 to 10 on Hennepin three years ago, recognizing the need to activate the neighborhood to address concerns about crime rates in the downtown arts district. As the largest landowner along the downtown stretch of Hennepin, including the historic Orpheum, State and Pantages Theatres, Hennepin Theatre Trust feels a responsibility to build and strengthen the community.
Bob Dylan mural at the 15 Building
How do you turn a five-story brick wall into a jaw-dropping work of art? Simple. You invite a world-famous graffiti artist to cover it with a kaleidoscopic mural of Minnesota-grown international folk icon Bob Dylan.