Letters of the Day (Dec. 12): Guthrie's rough year

  • Updated: December 11, 2013 - 6:04 PM

Ideas to explain the theater’s first operating deficit in 19 years.


The Guthrie Theater

Photo: Jim Mone • Associated Press file 2007,

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The $438,000 operating deficit the Guthrie Theater reported for this year (“Guthrie’s first loss in 19 years,” Dec. 10) may have been due in part to the seating in the theater. Any multiplex movie theater and many community theaters offer better seating. Perhaps patrons grew tired of viewing such fine productions from miserable vantage points.

Check the leg and shoulder room as well as the viewing angle for the McGuire Proscenium Stage. If you are less than 5-foot-6 and 180 pounds, you may be fine, but you’ll still stretch your neck in sightlines beyond the middle of the theater. Rows near the outside walls are not angled toward the stage.

But the plush design of the theater is impressive; it captures the aura of the 1890s quite well. I just wish some of the money spent on the fine common areas of the theater would have been invested inside.

Note: I appreciate the quality of the Guthrie so much that I will continue to attend plays presented on the Wurtele Thrust Stage (with an aisle seat for more leg room).

EDWARD F. SHAFER, Rochester, Minn.

• • •

Count us among those who did not renew longtime Guthrie season tickets. After many letters to Joe Dowling and our remarks in surveys that we did not find the foul and offensive language in his many productions entertaining, we chose another way to convey our distaste and get the message to him. His choice to use filthy gutter language in almost every play was against everything we stand for. Were someone to use crass language of this sort in our home, we would ask that they leave, which is what we’ve done to the Guthrie.


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