The Rarig Center is the home of the department's theatre program. In addition to its four theaters, the Center—designed by Ralph Rapson, architect of the former Guthrie Theater—includes scenery, property, costume, lighting and sound laboratories; design, voice, and movement studios; ticket and publicity offices, and student lounges & offices. Recent addtions to the center include a state-of-the-art digital media studio, several computer-aided design (CAD) stations, and the capability for sound and digital editing in the design classroom.
Attending a performance or talk? Check out our How to Attend a Rarig Performance Guide!
A 200 seat theatre with flexible seating, the Kilburn is an intimate space that features a sprung floor overtop of the original wood hexagon floor. The Arena is named for the parents of Terence Kilburn, a long-time friend and patron of University Theatre.
The “Pro”—as our students refer to it—is one of the most accessible and flexible spaces, lending itself to grand, large cast, presentational style performances, like our annual dance theatre concert, University Dance Theatre. The Pro has a capacity of 420 and is named for Frank “Doc” Whiting, the long-time director of the Minnesota Centennial Showboat.
At a capacity of 460 seats, the Thrust is the largest of all four spaces in the Rarig Center and, yet, the most intimate. Designed as a quarter scale replica of the original Guthrie Theater, the original design also mimics the “Alpine Slope”, a section of the balcony so named for its steep rake and overhang onto the stage. The Thrust is home to classics, modern pieces and musicals, and is loved by directors because of its ability to put actors and the action out into the audience space.
The “X” is a flexible black box space. The X is home to classes, workshops, visiting artist, and original work. Seating is capped at 99 people, yet The X can be configured in a multitude of ways, due to flexible seating and staging.