March 23, 2023
Press release #1849

For more information, contact:
Elizabeth Deacon


Featuring a concert by Tony Award winner Santino Fontana and the presentation of the inaugural Tyrone Guthrie Distinguished Artist Award to Joe Dowling

Thursday, May 11, 2023

(Minneapolis/St. Paul) — On Thursday, May 11, the Guthrie Theater (Joseph Haj, Artistic Director) will host the Diamond Jubilee 60th Anniversary Gala, an evening of music and merriment celebrating the theater’s legacy of artistic excellence. Guthrie alum Santino Fontana — one of Broadway’s foremost leading men and a formidable screen talent best known for his Tony Award-winning performance in Tootsie and voicing Prince Hans in Disney’s Frozen — returns to the Guthrie for an exclusive concert to celebrate the 60-year milestone. Festivities include a VIP cocktail reception and dinner with the presentation of the inaugural Tyrone Guthrie Distinguished Artist Award to former Artistic Director Joe Dowling, live and silent auctions, a gala program with special guests and giving opportunities, and an after-party for all guests.

Tickets start at $100 and go on sale Friday, March 24. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit

Ticket Packages

Premium –
$2,500 per ticket
Includes premium program and concert seating, VIP cocktail reception and dinner, premium parking and entry to the after-party

Prominent –
$1,500 per ticket
Includes prominent program and concert seating, cocktail mixer, complimentary ramp parking and entry to the after-party

Preferred – $500 per ticket
Includes preferred program and concert seating, cocktail mixer and entry to the after-party

– $100 per ticket
Includes standard concert seating and entry to the after-party

The Guthrie Theater is a 501(c)(3) organization, and its annual gala is the theater’s largest fundraising event of the year. Proceeds will allow the Guthrie to increase access to its transformative theater experiences for our community.

Santino Fontana (Performer) has cemented himself as one of Broadway’s foremost leading men as well as a formidable screen talent. He is best known for winning a 2019 Tony Award for his groundbreaking performance in Tootsie, lending his voice to the villainous Prince Hans in Disney’s blockbuster film Frozen and playing Greg on The CW’s critically acclaimed musical comedy series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” Fontana is highly regarded for his work onstage, with Charles Isherwood of The New York Times calling him “one of the most promising young actors to emerge in the New York theater in recent years.” A graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Acting Program, Fontana played the leading role in our 2006 production of Hamlet to close the original Guthrie building on Vineland Place.

Joe Dowling (Tyrone Guthrie Distinguished Artist Award Recipient) became the Guthrie’s seventh Artistic Director in 1995 and is known for leading the theater to its current multistage facility on the Mississippi River. During his tenure, he directed 48 Guthrie productions, cultivated relationships with esteemed artists, established two acclaimed actor training programs (A Guthrie Experience for Actors in Training and University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Acting Program), developed the WorldStage Series and fulfilled his commitment to the Twin Cities arts community by presenting the work of more than 30 local companies in the Dowling Studio. In a special homecoming, Dowling directed William Shakespeare’s The Tempest during the Guthrie’s 2021–2022 Season to universal acclaim.

Special thanks
The Guthrie acknowledges Tyrone Guthrie Distinguished Artist Award Sponsor Best Buy Foundation; Entertainment Sponsor U.S. Bank; Hospitality Sponsor Target; Gold Sponsors Carlson, Cargill, Karen Bachman, Martha Goldberg Aronson & Daniel Aronson and Wendy Nelson, Lee & Peg Skold; Silver Sponsors Stinson, Travelers and Dorsey & Whitney; Bronze Sponsors Ernst & Young, Jones Day and Mairs & Power; and Event Sponsors Old National Bank, Securian and Steve Thompson & Ron Frey. The Guthrie is also grateful for the support of Gala Co-Chairs Amy Fiterman and Lisa Johnson Kelly, and Honorary Gala Chair Karen Bachman.  

Land Acknowledgment
The Guthrie Theater would like to acknowledge that it resides on the traditional land of the Dakota People and honors with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations, including the Ojibwe and other Indigenous nations.

The GUTHRIE THEATER (Joseph Haj, Artistic Director) is an American center for theater performance in Minneapolis, Minnesota, celebrating 60 years of artistic excellence during its 2022–2023 Season. Under Haj’s leadership, the Guthrie has continued its dedication to producing a mix of classic and contemporary plays and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Since its founding in 1963, the theater has set a national standard for excellence in the field and served the people of Minnesota as a vital cultural resource. The Guthrie houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms, restaurants and dramatic public spaces.