Joseph Haj: A Conversation

Joseph Haj, the Guthrie’s eighth artistic director and his Associate Artistic Director, Jeffrey Meanza, discussed the value of the western canon, its continuing relevance, and its agency for social change May 2 at the University of Minnesota Friends of the Libraries’ annual celebration.  

Haj also talked about the history of the Guthrie and its longstanding importance to Minnesotans.

“The original Guthrie was built with 8,000 discreet gifts gathered from all over the state,” Haj said at one point, noting one gift of $6.37 from a Sunday school in Mankato. “This theater was built by the citizens of Minnesota as a gift to themselves. And this is what we try to honor over a half-century later in guiding the Guthrie.”

To watch and listen to the entire conversation — including Q&A at the end, click on the video above. 

About the Guthrie Archives

The Libraries’ Performing Arts Archives holds the records for the Guthrie Theater. The theatre has regularly deposited records in the Performing Arts Archives since 1965. And every play performed on the Guthrie mainstage since its first season in 1963 is represented by prompt books, production notes, costume bibles, photographs, audio tapes containing background music or sound effects, and set designs. For some productions, there are also video tapes of portions of the productions themselves. 

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