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6 Must-See Theater Productions Coming This Fall

Highlights include a new Indigenous work, a reimagining of a French classic, and a musical bio on the (very not real) Betty Crocker.


That’s a lot of theater.

After years of postponements, hiatuses, and cancellations, Minnesota theater companies are developing new works and planning new seasons, and it feels like the end of '23 is shaping up as a return to form. This fall, there are highly anticipated projects from once dormant houses, world premieres by nationally renowned playwrights, and new collaborations between theaters. 

Now that we have options, it can be hard to navigate the sudden amount of new performances happening in town this season. So let’s take a look at six significant, must-see productions.

Open Eye Figure Theatre's 'Chinese Lady'Promo

Chinese Lady
Open Eye Figure Theatre

Lloyd Suh was a Pulitzer Prize finalist earlier this year for The Far Country, a piece about the Chinese Exclusion Act and immigration in California. The Chinese Lady, an earlier work of his, is having its regional premiere at Open Eye Figure Theatre right now. This play presents the true story of Afong Moy, who in 1834 was brought from her hometown of Guangzhou, China, to New York City and put on display. Audiences follow her as she watches America transform over the course of several decades, witnessing westward expansion and racial violence. As she tours the U.S., Moy’s perception of herself is challenged, and she regrets not being the Chinese ambassador she feels America needed. Chinese Lady kicks off Open Eye’s season, which will also continue to showcase the theater’s already robust puppet-based work. Now through September 30

Cast rehearsal for 'For the People'Joshua Cummins

For the People
Guthrie Theatre

Coming off her broadway debut with The Thanksgiving Play, Larissa FastHorse’s next premiere will be here at the Guthrie. This new piece is set in Minneapolis and has been in the works for several years. In 2020, the Guthrie was awarded a Joyce Award to commission FastHorse and fellow theater artist Ty Defoe to create a new play with their consulting firm, Indigenous Direction. The result is For The People, a comedy set on Franklin Avenue about a passionate young woman trying to obtain a grant for a new wellness center. But first, the plan must be approved by the neighborhood’s task force. Indigenous populations are almost never represented in stories about Minneapolis, and this is a significant and historic production that the greater national theater community will be paying attention to. October 7 through November 12

'Mariology' at Mixed Blood TheatrePromo art

Mixed Blood

Mixed Blood Theatre is going through some changes. They paused programming in 2020, and then, two years later, founding artistic director Jack Reuler stepped down after 45 years. Under Mark Valdez’s new leadership, the company has begun offering new hyperlocal programming through their 12x12 series. This has included swimming performances at the Phillips Aquatic Center and a family-friendly show at Maplewood Mall. This season, they'll also be hosting the L.A.-based Critical Mass Performance Group at their much-beloved former firehouse space. Mariology is a new work about the Virgin Mary, both as a source of faith and comfort as well as a weapon of control and colonization. The story, set in a fifth-grade classroom, is coming to Minneapolis after many workshops and readings. October 27 through November 12

'Fetal' at Frank TheatrePromo art

Frank Theatre

After a three-and-a-half-year hiatus, Frank Theatre finally returns with a world premiere. This exciting company, known for putting on biting contemporary plays, is featuring a new work by local writer Trista Baldwin. Since moving to the Twin Cities 15 years ago for a fellowship with the Playwright Center, Baldwin has produced work at The Guthrie and Mill City Museum. The former premiered In the Water, a piece about the I-35 bridge collapse. Her new show, Fetal, is set in an abortion provider’s waiting room in Houston, Texas on June 24, 2022—moments before SCOTUS decides to overturn Roe v. Wade. October 27 through November 19

'Say All the Truth'Photo by Lauren B. Photography

Say All the Truth
Jungle Theater & Moving Company

This co-production between the Jungle and Moving Company is going to be weird—in the best way possible. A reimagining of Moliere’s Misanthrope, this comedy follows a grumpy French aristocrat who offends someone on the royal court. Moving Company already has experience transforming the works of Molière: The team’s former company, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, created a famous adaptation of The Miser in 2005. Lauded for both its highly expressive physical theater and hauntingly striking design, Miser went on to win the Regional Tony Award that year. With Dominique Serrand at the helm again for Say All the Truth, this new collaboration with the Jungle Theater is a must-see. October 27 through November 26

'I Am Betty' at History TheatreBetty Crocker

I Am Betty
History Theatre

I Am Betty separates itself from the plethora of biographical musicals coming out these days, most notably in that its title character is not real. Taking inspiration from Susan Marks’s book Finding Betty Crocker, the piece explores American gender politics over the decades via the fictional figurehead's perceived evolution. Although this is not a contemporary story, its themes are reminiscent of 2023 concerns like modern digital perfectionism and AI deep fakes. Local writer Cristina Luzárraga began I Am Better after receiving a grant from the Playwright's Center; last year, it was workshopped as part of History Theatre's Raw Stages series. This new production features catchy jingles composed by Denise Prosek, and it continues History Theatre's tradition of producing original works with local connections—Betty Crocker was born in 1921 in a Minneapolis boardroom of a company that would later become General Mills, after all. November 25 through December 23

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