West Bank Theatre District (1980s and 90s)

In 1985, the theatre painted its facade with a mural of its blueprint. This bright blue design was featured in national press, including the cover of the magazine Theatre Crafts. Three years later, TRP purchased its building and property to make its home in the West Bank Theater District permanent.

In 1994, the Minnesota Fringe Festival began on the West Bank, with TRP serving as a host theatre for the very first festival, and many after. MN Fringe is now the largest of its kind in the country.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, TRP found a rhythm of 9-show season, and also found time to produce several director showcases, festival productions at the MACT Festival, and other additional programming:

  • In its 1988 Radio in the Round Series with KFAI Radio, artists from the community, working under professional directors, broadcast three live shows from the arena.
  • In 1989, artistic directors Jacie Knight and Laura Rudy started TRP’s Youth Performance Company, performing at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis. The program proved so successful that it established itself as an independent theatre group in 1993. YPC is now one of the top youth programs in the Twin Cities.
  • In 1995, TRP TV produced two half-hour original plays that were shown over local cable channels.

SEASONS 28-48

28th Season (1979-80)

  • The Time of Your Life
  • The Wild Duck
  • Auntie Mame
  • Albert’s Bridge / The Duck Variations
  • The Ruling Class
  • The Children’s Hour
  • The Birthday Party
  • Caesar and Cleopatra

SUMMER OF ‘79

  • Bullshot Crummond
  • Yanks 3 Detroit 0 Top of the Seventh

STUDIO SERIES

  • Snow in the Virgin Islands
  • Skywriting / Tia Maria Visits Your Tube

29th Season (1980-81)

  • Private Lives
  • Richard II
  • The Caine Rehearsals
  • The Crucible
  • Fanny’s First Play
  • Who’s Happy Now?
  • Lulu
  • The Learned Ladies

SUMMER OF ’80

  • Ladies in Retirement
  • An Inspector Calls

STUDIO SERIES

  • Clothes Conscious
  • Macbett
  • In the Boom-Boom Room
  • Civil Servants / Squeeze Play

FESTIVAL

  • Remember, Please Remember Me

30th Season (1981-82)

  • Whose Life Is It, Anyway?
  • The Shadow of a Gunman
  • Same Time, Next Year
  • Uncle Vanya
  • Loose Ends
  • LuAnn Hampton Laverty Oberlander
  • Inherit the Wind
  • The Royal Family

SUMMER OF ’81

  • Chapter Two
  • Once a Catholic

Kudos Awards

 Critics and theatre professionals begin “The Kudos Awards” (1981-84) to recognize work on local stages. An Award for Distinguished Achievement by an Actor goes to Gary Rayppy (Richard II).

In 1982, “Kudos Awards” are given for Distinguished Achievement in Direction to Larry Whiteley (The Crucible) and for Distinguished Achievement by an Actress to Lynn Musgrave (Same Time, Next Year).

31st Season (1982-83)

  • Ghosts
  • The Petrified Forest
  • Jacques Brel is Alive and Well & Living in Paris
  • Ladyhouse Blues
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Affair of the Amorous Regent
  • The Queen and the Rebels
  • The Devil’s Disciple
  • Division Street

SUMMER OF ‘82

  • “Pieces and Bits” program
  • Present Laughter

FESTIVAL

  • The Actor’s Nightmare

Awarded 1st place for the state of Minnesota in the Festival of American Community Theatre

32nd Season (1983-84)

  • Night Must Fall
  • The Doctor’s Dilemma
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
  • Follow the Star
  • The Little Foxes
  • Once in a Lifetime
  • Da
  • Getting Out
  • The Dresser

SUMMER OF ’83

  • 1776

TOURING SHOWS (special invitational tour in England to present the following one acts)

  • I’m Herbert
  • Chamber Music
  • The Actor’s Nightmare

33rd Season (1984-85)

  • A Cry of Players
  • Arms and the Man
  • Thieves’ Carnival
  • Vieux Carré
  • She Stoops to Conquer
  • The Philanthropist
  • The Abdication
  • Sly Fox

SUMMER OF ’84

  • Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
  • Of Thee I Sing

STUDIO SERIES

  • The Games End / Santa Clothes

FESTIVAL

  • Tennessee

Awarded 1st place for the state of Minnesota in the Festival of American Community Theatre

Kudos Awards

In 1983, “Kudos Award” for Distinguished Achievement by an Actress to Bonnie Lee (Present Laughter).

34th Season (1985-86)

  • Saint Joan
  • A View From the Bridge
  • Oh, Coward!
  • The School for Wives
  • Passion
  • Hamlet
  • Coup / Clucks

SUMMER OF ‘85

  • Key Exchange
  • Pal Joey
 35th Season (1986-87)
  • Saturday, Sunday, Monday
  • Galileo
  • Androcles and the Lion
  • Close Ties
  • As You Like It
  • Six Characters in Search of an Author
  • Undiscovered Country
  • The Matchmaker

SUMMER OF ’86

  • Light Up the Sky
  • A Little Night Music

DIRECTORS’ SERIES

  • Chinamen
  • My Fat Friend
  • A Tantalizing
  • Papa Creole’s Jazz Funeral
  • Michi’s Blood
  • Icarus’s Mother
  • Arms and the Man (act I)

STUDIO SERIES

  • Miles To Go

FESTIVAL

  • The Love Suicide of Schofield Barracks

36th Season (1987-88)

  • The Elephant Man
  • Summer and Smoke
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • 84, Charing Cross Road
  • Good
  • The Philanderer
  • The Innocents
  • The Dining Room

SUMMER OF ’87

  • Fifth of July
  • Night Watch

STUDIO SERIES

  • The Man of Destiny
  • The Color of Heat
  • Fumed Oak
  • Victoria Station
  • Green Forms
  • Hopscotch
  • Suppressed Desire
  • Lovers

37th Season (1988-89)

  • Abelard and Heloise
  • Filumena
  • Born Yesterday
  • Design for Living
  • Phaedra
  • The Heiress
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • The House of Blue Leaves

SUMMER OF ‘88

  • The Marriage of Bette and Boo
  • H.M.S. Pinafore

RADIO IN THE ROUND

  • The Gingerbread House
  • Time and Distance
  • Vincent Washburn, New Age Detective

Live shows are broadcast from the arena, including live sound effects, over community radio station KFAI.

FESTIVAL

  • Who Killed Richard Cory?

38th Season (1989-90)

  • Breaking the Code
  • Orchards
  • The Curious Savage
  • The Price
  • Wild Honey
  • A Life
  • The Life and Death of King John
  • You Never Can Tell

SUMMER OF ’89

  • Goodbye Freddy
  • The Robber Bridegroom

YOUTH PERFORMANCE COMPANY

  • Tom Sawyer
  • The Elves and the Shoemaker
  • The Emperor’s Nightingale
  • Jack and the Beanstalk

As an experiment in youth programming, TRP sponsors the Youth Performance Company, which grows into an independent theatre company in 1993.

39th Season (1990-91)

  • Wenceslas Square
  • The Night of the Iguana
  • Gigi
  • Woman in Mind
  • The Country Girl
  • Rough Crossing
  • Julius Caesar
  • The Fantasticks

SUMMER OF ’90

  • You Can’t Take It With You

DIRECTORS’ SERIES

  • Observation
  • Bargains
  • Answers
  • Mary of Scotland
  • Night in a Norwegian Forest
  • A Social Event
  • Breakfast Past Noon
  • The Family Continues

YOUTH PERFORMANCE COMPANY

  • Cinderella
  • The Littlest Angel
  • Midas and the Golden Touch & Other Myths
  • Robin Hood

FESTIVAL

  • The Love Talker

Awarded 1st place for the state of Minnesota in the Festival of American Community Theatre

TRP PURCHASES & RENOVATES ITS BUILDING

40th Season (1991-92)

  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • Inherit the Wind
  • Gemini
  • ‘Tis Pitty Sheesa Whore
  • The Hot L Baltimore
  • The Winter’s Tale
  • Pygmalion

SUMMER OF ‘91

  • The Trip of Bountiful
  • Bus Stop

DIRECTORS’ SERIES

  • Waiting for the Parade
  • Bits
  • The Author’s Voice
  • How It Hangs
  • Life Under Water
  • Out of Bounds
  • The Jewish Wife
  • Naomi in the Living Room

YOUTH PERFORMANCE COMPANY

  • Snow White
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes
  • Treasure Island

41st Season (1992-93)

  • Cloud 9
  • The Cocktail Hour
  • The Miser
  • Les Liaisons Dangereuses
  • The Visit
  • A Doll’s House
  • The Comedy of Errors
  • Hay Fever

SUMMER OF ’92

  • The Pirates of Penzance
  • Lysistrata

YOUTH PERFORMANCE COMPANY

  • Dracula
  • The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
  • Rumplestiltskin
  • Adventures of King Arthur

FESTIVAL

  • The Baltimore Waltz

Awarded 1st place for the state of Minnesota in the Festival of American Community Theatre

NEWS

A broken water main floods the basement, destroying the costume shop, sets, props, and delaying the opening of the season.

42nd Season (1993-94)

  • Prelude to a Kiss
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • Blithe Spirit
  • The Heidi Chronicles
  • The Three Sisters
  • Into the Woods
  • Mary Stuart
  • Getting Married

SUMMER OF ’93

  • A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum
  • A Streetcar Named Desire

43rd Season (1994-95)

  • A Lie of the Mind
  • La Ronde
  • Company
  • The Shadow Box
  • Taking Steps
  • Come Back, Little Sheba
  • King Lear
  • A Perfect Ganesh

SUMMER OF ‘94

  • Agnes of God

FESTIVAL

  • Pizzazz

TRP TV

  • The Object
  • Queens Never Make Bargains

TRP produces half-hour original plays shown over local cable channels

44th Season (1995-96)

  • A Few Good Men
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Amahl and the Night Visitors
  • The Speed of Darkness
  • Mrs. Warren’s Profession
  • Translations
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  • The Philadelphia Story

SUMMER OF ’95

  • Crimes of the Heart
  • Man of La Mancha

45th Season (1996-97)

  • Kindertransport
  • Misalliance
  • The Man Who Came to Dinner
  • Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me
  • Great Expectations
  • All My Sons
  • Quilt
  • Dancing at Lughnasa

SUMMER OF ’96

  • Jeffrey
  • Steel Magnolias

FESTIVAL

  • Jeffrey

Awarded first place for the state of Minnesota and first place for the seven-state region, and performs at the national level of the Festival of American Community Theatre

46th Season (1997-98)

  • Execution of Justice
  • The Real Thing
  • The Lion in Winter
  • Relatively Speaking
  • The Work of Water
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • A Moon for the Misbegotten
  • Brighton Beach Memoirs

SUMMER OF ‘97

  • On the Verge
  • The Diviners

47th Season (1998-99)

  • M. Butterfly
  • A Delicate Balance
  • On Golden Pond
  • Jake’s Women
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • How the Other Half Loves
  • Sylvia
  • Heartbreak House

SUMMER OF ’98

  • A Fair Country
  • The Chalk Garden

FESTIVAL

  • Tall Tales

48th Season (1999-2000)

  •  An American Daughter
  • Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
  • Season’s Greetings
  • Bent
  • The Crucible
  • I Hate Hamlet
  • Marat-Sade
  • The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds

SUMMER OF ’96

  • Independence
  • Biloxi Blues