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Guthrie Theater Announces Virtual Benefit August 1

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Guthrie Theater Announces Virtual Benefit August 1

The Guthrie Theater announced it will present its first-ever virtual benefit on Saturday, August 1 at 7 p.m. CDT. The online gathering will raise critical funds to help sustain the theater, celebrate local and national artists and uplift the community the Guthrie serves. Attending the virtual benefit is free, but registration is required. Captioning and ASL interpretation will be available. For more information about how to give to the Guthrie and register for the event, visit www.guthrietheater.org/benefit.

Beloved Twin Cities actor Sally Wingert will emcee the livestreamed event, which will feature performances by acclaimed national and local theater artists, including Ryan Colbert, Santino Fontana, Marc Koeck, Meghan Kreidler, Mia Pinero, Ava Saunders and Regina Marie Williams, as well as cameos by Ryan Michelle Bathe, Ricardo Chavira, Don Cheadle, John Carroll Lynch, David Hyde Pierce, Laila Robins, Mark Rylance, Emily Swallow, Courtney B. Vance, Brenda Wehle and Rainn Wilson, among others. A special giving opportunity introduced by Artistic Director Joseph Haj and premier auction packages will also be part of the theater's largest fundraiser of the year. The Guthrie Theater Virtual Benefit is produced by Broadway Unlocked and created by Jessica Ryan.

"The Guthrie's annual fundraiser is always an important event," Haj recently shared. "The necessary closure of the theater has created unprecedented financial challenges for the organization, which makes this year's benefit more important than ever. I've been so encouraged to see the outpouring of support from Guthrie artists, past and present, who have offered their time and talents to help ensure the theater's future."

Haj continued, "The Guthrie is an essential part of Minnesota's thriving arts culture, and like many arts organizations, we rely heavily on community support. Hosting the benefit online allows us to invite audiences near and far to enjoy and participate in this year's event. I look forward to gathering virtually and working together to ensure the Guthrie can reopen safely and continue its nearly 60-year tradition of serving the Twin Cities through the transformational power of theater."

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Guthrie stopped producing plays in March 2020 and reduced its 2020-2021 Season budget by 60% and its staff by 79%, with plans to resume programming in March 2021. After canceling hundreds of performances in its current and upcoming seasons, the theater faces a devastating loss of revenue. Donations raised before and during the livestreamed program will help sustain the Guthrie so it can continue to produce world-class theater experiences when it is safe to do so.


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