Dianne Brennan and Joe Dowling at the Guthrie's Costume Ball in 2011. Photo by Sara Glassman.


After more than 15 years at the helm of the Guthrie Theater’s fundraising juggernaut, senior leader Dianne Brennan has left her position, the Star Tribune has learned.

The resignation of the theater’s development director occurred Wednesday, two days after the annual meeting at which the Guthrie announced that it had once again balanced its budget.

Brennan, 66, was responsible for all fundraising activities plus staff and volunteers at the theater, where she started work on April 21, 1997. During her tenure, the Guthrie raised hundreds of millions of dollars to balance its books and build a new $125 million, three-theater complex on the Minneapolis riverfront.

“Her legacy stands on the river, doesn’t it?” said Guthrie director Joe Dowling. “Dianne was central to the mission at the Guthrie. That the theater has had balanced budgets over the last 16 of 17 years —that’s also her legacy. On a personal level, Dianne’s passion for the theater and for the young artists who graduated from our program is unparalleled. She is one of the greats in the field and will be sorely missed.”

Before she came to the Guthrie, Brennan was director of development for the Pacific Northwest Ballet and the University of Washington's College of Engineering. She resigned for a new opportunity.

Dowling said that the Guthrie will likely do a national search for a new development director.

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