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As it reaches its 10-year anniversary, Nimbus Theatre finds a home of its own

The local Nimbus Theatre, which turned 10 this year, will soon settle into a permanent home.

A couple weeks ago, the theater, which strives to produce thought-provoking, artistically challenging contemporary work, signed a lease for a 4,100 square foot space at 15th and Central Avenue Northeast in Minneapolis.

Nearby are antiques and stained-glass shops, an empty space once belonging to the old Teeners Theatrical supply and the Diamonds Coffee Shoppe.  

The volunteer-run theater is planning a 75-seat black-box-style auditorium with a lobby and backstage area in the raw, industrial-looking space. All told, the project will cost $100,000, according to Josh Cragun, a cofounder and co-artistic director at Nimbus, who explains that the development will unfold in a couple phases.

This week, the company is kicking off a capital campaign. Already it's received a $10,000 grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council for lighting equipment while the build-out will begin pending approval of a city zoning change to allow for the theater use.  

Until now, Nimbus has relied on rental performance space at the Minneapolis Theater Garage in Uptown, with a separate office in Northeast.

But with steady growth through the years, it made economic sense for the theater to find a place of its own, says Cragun, adding that it's becoming a more permanent, rather than a production-oriented company.

When it started looking for a place a couple years ago, the company wanted to find a space that reflected its values, wherein "we could shape it and make it our own," says Cragun, adding, "It'll give us a sense of identity."

Additionally, Nimbus will have the flexibility to produce a variety of shows that are experimental or have limited runs, along with workshops, readings, and more. Outside companies will be able to rent the venue while in the future Nimbus may hire a staffer or two, Cragun says.

Nimbus's first shows in the space will be "The Balcony" by Jean Genet in February 2011 followed by "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion in the spring.   

Source: Josh Cragun, Nimbus Theatre 
Writer: Anna Pratt

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