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Guthrie Theater Director Joe Dowling extends contract


(Minneapolis/St. Paul) At the Guthrie Theater’s annual meeting on Monday, July 19, Board President Jodee Kozlak announced that Joe Dowling will remain as Director of the Guthrie for five more years.

In a statement Kozlak said, “On behalf of the Guthrie Theater Board of Directors, I am thrilled to announce that Joe Dowling will continue in his role as the Guthrie Theater’s Director through June 2015.  His extraordinary leadership is unparalleled: his realization of our world class facility, relentless pursuit of artistic excellence and unwavering commitment to this community and Guthrie audiences have established our institution as a heralded national center.  We are honored to continue this partnership with Joe and we thank him for his remarkable loyalty, vision and fortitude.”

Joe Dowling became the Guthrie Theater’s Artistic Director in 1995. Since then, he has directed more than 35 productions and overseen a period of unprecedented growth for the Theater. Dowling’s tenure has been marked by record-breaking subscription and single ticket sales, an expansion in programming both on and off the stage, co-productions by visiting international theater companies, collaborations with local theater companies and solid fiscal health. Under Dowling’s leadership, the Guthrie opened its new three-theater complex on the banks of the Mississippi River in 2006. This complex, which Time Magazine called a “21st-century dream factory,” has allowed Dowling to expand the Guthrie’s repertoire and to include new work such as the upcoming productions of The Scottsboro Boys and The Master Butchers Singing Club, and to create innovative programming like last year’s three-month-long, theater-wide Kushner Celebration.

Mr. Dowling is a member of the artistic directorate of the Globe Theatre in London. He holds Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters from The University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN., St. Johns University in Collegeville, MN., and from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN as well as an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the National University of Ireland and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Gonzaga University. Among his numerous other awards Mr. Dowling is the recipient of the 2006 Sally Ordway Irvine Award for Vision. Prior to coming to the Guthrie, he was widely known for his association with the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s national theater. In 1970 he founded The Young Abbey, Ireland’s first theater-in-education group, and three years later he became artistic director of the Peacock Theatre, the Abbey’s second stage. In 1976 he was appointed artistic director of the national touring company, the Irish Theatre Company. He became the youngest-ever artistic director of the Abbey Theatre in 1978. His tenure is particularly remembered for the encouragement and development of new plays and young playwrights. After leaving the Abbey in 1985, Mr. Dowling became managing and artistic director of Dublin’s oldest commercial theater, The Gaiety Theatre.  While there he founded and directed The Gaiety School of Acting, now widely regarded as Ireland’s premier drama school. He currently serves as Chair of The Gaiety School of Acting’s Board of Directors.

The GUTHRIE THEATER was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. With annual attendance of nearly 500,000 people, the Guthrie Theater presents a mix of classic plays and contemporary work on its three stages. Under the artistic leadership of Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance. In 2006, the Guthrie opened its new home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie Theater houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms and dramatic public lobbies. www.guthrietheater.org.

The Guthrie Theater Annual Report for fiscal year 2009-2010 is available at on the Guthrie website at: http://www.guthrietheater.org/20092010_annual_report

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