• Case Study: Guthrie Theater (1990)

    By: Joan Channick, MFA '89. Associate Dean of the Yale School of Drama

    Professional theatre in the U.S. was, until the late 1950’s, entirely a commercial venture, centralized in a relatively small number of Broadway theatres in New York City. In 1957, the emergence of a new type of professional theatre was recognized as worthy of consideration when McNeil Lowry, the individual in charge of the Ford Foundation’s program of giving to cultural organizations, brought together representatives of this handful of early regional theatres to discuss their common experience, thereby giving them national credibility. One scholar, Joseph Wesley Zeigler, contrasts these “acorn theatres” with another type of regional theatre that emerged in the early 1960’s: “theatres sanctioned by the power structure of communities, large and famous in their inception- theatres which were, in short, ‘oak trees,’ planted fully grown.” The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, according to Zeigler was the “first and prototypical oak tree.” This case describes the history of the Guthrie Theater describing key leadership transition points and governance dynamics over a period of 27 years.

    Guthrie Theater 1990 [CASE STUDY]


    Filed in: Case Studies, Governance, Leadership, Organizational Direction
    Keywords: , , , , , ,
    Added on: January 1, 1990