Minneapolis is one of the best theater cities in the United States. Look beyond the Guthrie, and you’ll find a shocking number of professional and semi-professional stages in this friendly Midwestern metropolis. If you’re interested in becoming a part of the fun, start with the exceptional community theaters in Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Twin Cities’ community theater scene is warm and welcoming, whether you’re a complete newbie or an old pro. It’s also incredibly diverse, offering everything from splashy Golden Age musicals to experimental plays by local playwrights.
Can’t get enough? We’ve also included a list of professional and semi-professional theaters that offer auditions for local Minneapolis actors.
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Community Theater Groups in Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota
Are you interested in getting involved in community theater in Minneapolis or St. Paul? These 13 community theater groups are active and accepting new members! To catch up on the latest from the Twin Cities theater community, follow the Twin Cities Theater Community group on Facebook.
Did we miss your favorite MSP community theater? Drop us a note, and we’ll add it to the list.
1. Lakeshore Players Theatre
Lakeshore Players Theatre is a Minneapolis-area community theater that’s seriously engaged with the community. In addition to a full lineup of musicals and plays — shows like Company, Wait Until Dark, Mary Poppins, Steel Magnolias — the theater hosts an annual 10 Minute Play Festival, theater camps and workshops, a summer concert series, and much more.
2. Theatre in the Round Players
Theatre in the Round Players is a great place to start if you’re new to community theater in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The company welcomes new faces — plus, you’ll get the chance to work with professional directors. This group does mostly plays, with an average of nine productions each year. It’s a great opportunity to dive deep into the straight-theater canon; recent seasons have included The Comedy of Errors, Black Comedy, 110 in the Shade, and The House of Blue Leaves.
3. Cross Community Players
Cross Community Players is one of the most organized and professional community theaters in the Minneapolis area. They’re known for big, crowd-pleasing musicals, including Mamma Mia, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Mary Poppins. Occasionally, you’ll find an audition for a play such as The Diary of Anne Frank. The group does a great job of publicizing auditions on their website and Facebook page, so it’s easy to figure out what’s next.
4. 4 Community Theatre
4 Community Theatre offers some of the most interesting seasons in the Twin Cities. In 2018, for example, the theater put on the Sam Shepard play True West, box-office draw Anything Goes, the offbeat Big Bad Musical, and the contemporary The Ever After Musical. Great for actors, great for audiences!
Phone: (952) 473-2521
5. Fridley Community Theatre
Since 2010, the Fridley Community Theatre has been putting on a summer musical, a winter play, and a youth show. Summer shows tend to have large casts — think Kiss Me Kate, Sister Act, and Anything Goes. Winter plays like Boeing, Boeing and Picasso at the Lapin Agile offer a fun acting challenge.
6. St. Anthony Community Theater
The St. Anthony Community Theater attracts talented, passionate people from all walks of life — including professional actors and singers from around Minneapolis. This group produces both plays and musicals, as well as the occasional theater workshop. Past productions include Annie, Urinetown, and The Sound of Music.
7. Columbia Heights Fine Arts Foundation
Columbia Heights Fine Arts Foundation creates interesting theater seasons filled with classic and contemporary plays. With options as diverse as Harvey, Almost, Maine, and Torch Songs, Tangos, and Touchdowns, you’ll definitely find something to stretch your skills. The group’s Facebook page is the best place to find up-to-date information.
8. Second Act Players of Rosemount
As you might guess from the name, the Second Act Players of Rosemount is a community theater group for people aged 50 and over. In addition to a lineup of plays, this group hosts educational classes and “field trips” to theater productions in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
9. Theatre 55
Theatre 55 is another senior-focused community theater group in Minneapolis. Founded by Richard Hitchler, who spent years at St. Paul’s SteppingStone Theatre, this group aims to deliver a welcoming, fun environment for actors and singers of all experience levels. With shows including HAIR! The Concert Experience, Urinetown, and Pippin, there’s something for everyone.
Phone: (612) 389-9010
10. The Park Theater Company
Get a glimpse at up-and-coming theater writers when you audition for The Park Theater Company. Here, you’ll find eclectic community theater productions that aren’t happening anywhere else in the Twin Cities: The President and the Space Lady Holiday Musical by Phil Hall, Touche the Musical by Jerry Wilson, and Axel and His Dog by Don Stolz are three standouts.
11. Front Porch Players of Rosemount
The Front Porch Players of Rosemount put on two plays each year. Most of the group’s directors choose classics: On Golden Pond, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Deathtrap. Follow the group on Facebook for audition information.
12. Eagan Theater Company
Exercise your acting muscles with the Eagan Theater Company, a community theater group that focuses on straight plays. In recent years, the group has put on shows including A Murder is Announced, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), and Twelve Angry Jurors. Keep an eye on the Facebook page to find out about upcoming auditions.
13. Applause Community Theatre
Perform in an original play with the Applause Community Theatre. Each year, this group puts on full-length plays by local authors; you can also participate in one-act play festivals.
Bonus: Mounds View Community Theatre
Mounds View Community Theatre is on hiatus until the summer of 2022, thanks to pandemic restrictions. When it returns, head to New Brighton to audition for the gorup’s splashy summer musicals. Past shows have included Man of La Mancha, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and H.M.S. Pinafore. This Minneapolis community theater group doesn’t have a building of its own; instead, it performs at various venues around the region. We love that the group frequently offers sensory-friendly preview performances to create a comfortable, welcoming theater experience for all audiences.
Professional and Semi-Professional Theaters in Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota
Are you looking to expand beyond community theater? The Minneapolis – St. Paul metro area is overflowing with professional and semi-professional theaters that offer local auditions. Whether you want to be in a Broadway musical or an experimental play, these theater groups are a great place to start.
The Minnesota Playlist audition notices are another good resource for actors and performers in the Minneapolis area.
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
Walking Shadow Theatre Company
Yellow Tree Theatre
The Zephyr Theatre
Shakespeare and Company
Theatre Pro Rata
Did we miss any of the best community theaters in Minneapolis – St. Paul? Send us a note, and we’ll add your favorites to the list!
Top image courtesy of vladeymeer