Theatregoers by Maya Washington

Location: 900 Hennepin Ave (Hennepin Theatre Trust)

Subjects: Gabby (8), Gloria Freeman, Hennepin Theatre Trust board member, Mia (11)

Gloria Freeman is deliberate about passing her love of theater down through the generations. Freeman sits on the Board of Directors for Hennepin Theatre Trust, and speaks with passion about her long history with the performing arts.

“My mother got me interested at a very young age,” Freeman recalls. “One play that I went as a mother and daughter to see was For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide. I think it’s important that everyone gets to share a part of what the arts is.”

Freeman continues that tradition, often bringing her granddaughters, 11-year-old Mia and 8-year-old Gabby, to see shows at the Trust’s three historic theatres. The three are featured on the theatregoers-themed portrait in Hennepin Theatre Trust’s “It’s the People” public art project, which hangs on the side of the Orpheum Theatre.

Mia, a dancer who gracefully spun and twirled during breaks in the photo shoot, says her favorite show is Sounds of Blackness at the Pantages Theatre. Younger sister Gabby loved Lion King at the Orpheum, particularly for the funny moments in the show.

Freeman says she loves the experiences she’s had along Hennepin Avenue, and she hopes to provide that for her granddaughters. She took both girls to the opening night production of Hamilton in Minneapolis and the cast party that followed.

“You see the lights, the action, the live entertainment, the restaurants, it’s all the ambience that creates this fabulous feeling,” she says. “I know 20 years from now, they’re going to remember the theater, the feeling, the people, all of that together.”

Artist: Maya Washington

Learn more about “It’s the People” here.