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Guthrie audio tour highlights behind-the-scenes stories of the building

The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis recently updated its self-guided audio tour of the building, which allows people to learn more about the theater at their own pace.

It’s accessible via smartphone, iPod, or other listening device, and devices can be checked out from the theater, according to Guthrie spokesperson Quinton Skinner.

The 40-minute tour takes people through various levels of the building, starting with the main lobby. Users can get behind-the-scenes details about the structure's architecture and history, including its auditoriums, artwork, lobbies, cafes, and meeting spaces.

A highlight is the cantilevered “endless bridge” that reaches toward the Mississippi River.

From level nine, people get a chance to take in “one of the best views of the city,” Skinner says.

The tour goes on to describe the building’s shiny blue facade, which is decorated with images of  playwrights who have special ties to the theater, he explains.

One benefit of the tour is that it's self-guided, so that “if someone is really entranced by a view, they can pause and reflect.”

When starting out, listeners get to choose between six different narrators: St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, WCCO-TV news anchor Angela Davis, performer and writer Kevin Kling, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Cities 97 radio personality Brian (B.T.) Turner, and actor Sally Wingert, according to Guthrie information.

The idea behind the tour is to “remind people that the Guthrie is...[a] community treasure that’s open to the public everyday,” even when shows aren’t happening, Skinner says.

He admits that “it was a lot of hard work, working on the script and recording it and editing it and making it user-friendly,” but he hopes that the result is something that appeals to both out-of-towners and locals who are curious about the theater.  

Source: Quinton Skinner
Writer: Anna Pratt
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