Theatre Unbound - History

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Founded in Minneapolis-St. Paul in 1999, Theatre Unbound has built a strong track record of fulfilling our mission. In today’s American theatre scene, where only 18% of plays are written or directed by women, Theatre Unbound productions have given opportunities to 137 female directors, 435 female actors, 109 male actors, and 126 female playwrights from the 10th century to the 21st.

The work we produce ranges from contemporary classics like Paula Vogel’s How I Learned To Drive, a witty, poignant drama about surviving childhood sexual abuse, to world premieres like Anne Bertram’s Frankenstein Incarnate: The Passions of Mary Shelley, a “multifaceted” (City Pages) drama about Shelley’s life and best-known work, to revivals of scripts by early women writers, like Alice Gerstenberg’s “Overtones,” a sharp satire about the contrast between what we say and how we feel.

We foster new work through two regular programs. Every year, we produce a 24:00:00 Xtreme Theatre Smackdown, in which twelve playwrights, six directors and dozens of actors create and perform six short pieces between nine p.m. Friday and eight p.m. Saturday. And we have produced four installments of the Directors’ Gym, a unique project which gives eight female directors the opportunity to devise new short pieces and present them to an audience of the general public and specially-invited representatives from theatre and film producers.

Other notable public recognition:

  • In April 2011, Norwegian composer Anne Lorentzen obtained funding and traveled to St. Paul to present her performance piece about serial killer Belle Gunness in conjunction with a performance of Murderess.

  • In May 2012, Minnesota Women’s Press named Artistic Director Stacey Poirier “Favorite Minnesota Role Model for Women in the Arts.”

  • In September 2012, Theatre Unbound’s all-female production of Julius Caesar received an Ivey Award for Inventive Reinterpretation.

Theatre Unbound, Inc. is a Minnesota non-profit corporation and a 501(c)(3) organization.