Playwrights’ Center 45th Anniversary Gala
Playwrights’ Center 45th Anniversary Gala

THURSDAY, MAY 4, 2017, 6 - 10 PM

The Blaisdell
2322 Blaisdell Ave
Minneapolis (directions)

Thank you to all who joined us for a special evening to celebrate the Playwrights’ Center’s 45 years of imagining theater forward and legendary artist Marion McClinton.

Cast of characters

Marion McClinton


Marion McClinton

Director, playwright, Playwrights’ Center Core Writer
Marion is an Obie Award-winning director whose many accolades also include nominations for Tony and Drama Desk awards. He has been part of the Playwrights’ Center as a director and playwright for decades and is a lifetime Core Writer at the Center. A St. Paul native, Marion is one of the most influential figures in Twin Cities theater.

Idris Goodwin


Idris Goodwin

Playwright, poet, essayist, Playwrights’ Center Affiliated Writer

T. Mychael Rambo


T. Mychael Rambo

Actor, vocalist, educator, former McKnight Theater Artist Fellow


6 PM Cocktail reception & VIP cocktail reception
7 PM Dinner & program


The Blaisdell is located at the corner of Blaisdell Avenue and W 24th Street (directions). There is private off-street parking for our guests in the lot across Blaisdell Avenue.


All tickets include seating, hors d’oeuvres, dinner, hosted wine and beer, and dessert. In addition, there will be a cash bar.

Buy Gala Tickets

$5,000 for Anniversary Table


  • VIP Cocktail Reception with featured guests and playwrights
  • Table of 9* which includes premier seating, seated dinner, hosted wine and beer, and table wine service
  • 6 reserved seats for all readings during the 2017 PlayLabs New Play Festival and 2017-18 Ruth Easton New Play Series
  • Recognition on all event print and electronic materials

$2,500 for Sapphire Table


  • VIP Cocktail Reception with featured guests and playwrights
  • Table of 9* which includes premier seating, seated dinner, hosted wine and beer, and table wine service
  • 2 reserved seats for any reading during the 2017 PlayLabs New Play Festival
  • Recognition on all event print and electronic materials

$500 for VIP Ticket Package


  • VIP Cocktail Reception with featured guests and playwrights
  • Two individual tickets which include VIP cocktail reception, seated dinner, hosted wine and beer, and table wine service
  • Recognition on all event print and electronic materials

$125 Single Ticket


  • Cocktail reception, seated dinner, hosted wine and beer, and table wine service

* Option of having a playwright sit at your table


Purchase your table or ticket online, or contact Krystal Kohler at or (612) 332-7481 x138.

Buy tickets

Live Auction details

Bid on an opportunity to have a playwright tell your story

During the live auction, bid to have one of these Playwrights’ Center Core Writers develop a 10-minute play on the spot just for you. At the close of the evening, see the play performed by some of the best actors in town.

Christina Ham

Philip Dawkins

Philip’s play Le Switch captured all hearts at PlayLabs 2014 before premiering at Jungle Theater in 2016,
and his commissioned adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches just closed at Children’s Theatre Company.

Aditi Brennan Kapil

Aditi Brennan Kapil

Aditi is playwright-in-residence at Mixed Blood Theatre, where her play Orange premiered this season. She recently opened Imogen Says Nothing at Yale Repertory Theatre.

John Olive

John Olive

John was a founder of the Playwrights’ Center and continues to be central to its work as a Core Writer. He recently published a book called Tell Me A Story In The Dark.

Auction packages

Writing Intensive with Jeremy Cohen, ITALY (Valued at $3,500)

The village of Tropea, Italy. Photo by Flickr user catepol, used with Creative Common license

Make a play or write a book in Southern Italy — with PWC’s Jeremy Cohen.

The region is Calabria. The town is Tropea. The opportunity is exclusively yours.

What if you could bring the beauty of southern Italy’s seascape and the triumph of your own artistic fulfillment together? Now you can. Join Producing Artistic Director Jeremy Cohen (a 20-year veteran of nurturing new writing) for a private, one-week-only master class where you’ll write, he’ll mentor — and together, with an apartment on the coast of Southern Italy as your retreat, you’ll bring the work you’ve always wanted to create into the world…

Open to writers and non-writers alike! The journey begins spring of 2018. Buone vacanze — and save us a gelato!


  • 8 days and 7 nights in your own private apartment in the city of Tropea
  • A weeklong writing workshop with Jeremy Cohen
  • Trip must be scheduled in May/June of 2018

Winner covers:

  • Flight to and from Italy
  • Roundtrip transportation from the airport/car rentals
  • Meals and extracurricular activities

Treat yourself to an exotic escape at La Casa Mas Alta in Nicaragua (valued at $3,900)

La Casa Mas Alta in Nicaragua

Viva la vida grande in Nicaragua.

Imagine spending 8 days and 7 nights at La Casa Mas Alta in Rancho Santana—the 3,000 acre, internationally recognized resort on the Emerald Coast of Nicaragua. Picture yourself, every day, waking up to stunning views: the sweeping Pacific Ocean views to the west, Volcano Mombacho to the north, Volcano Conception to the east and Costa Rica to the south. Take an early-morning hike on one of the trails out the front door and observe many species of tropical birds, and if you're lucky, howler monkeys eating flower blossoms overhead. Enjoy cocktails as the sun sets over the Pacific. At night, touch the universe of stars overhead as the Milky Way creates a ribbon of light across the sky.

La Casa Mas Alta (the Highest House) in Rancho Santana boasts simple elegance in tropical indoor-outdoor living. Spread out over 7 acres, 550 feet above the Pacific Ocean, La Casa Mas Alta offers its guests a 360-degree panoramic view of the Pacific coastline and the pastoral farmlands with the mountains as back drop. Situated on the isthmus between Lake Nicaragua and the Pacific Ocean, constant offshore winds provide world-class surfing conditions and steady, refreshing breezes. 

With its new bedroom addition, LCMA will sleep 6 comfortably (but can accomodate 8). The 3 bedrooms (2 Queens and 1 King) each have an en suite bathroom and a private balcony with breathtaking views.


  • 8 days and 7 nights
  • The winner will have access to all of Rancho Santana's amenities (country club membership privileges including 24-7 concierge service, on-site car rental, spa services, and activities such as horseback riding, yoga, stand-up paddle boarding and surfing.)
  • Owners will work with you to schedule your trip. Available after early 2018 due to remodeling.

Winner covers:

  • Airfare to and from Nicaragua
  • Roundtrip transportation from the airport to the ranch
  • Car rental
  • Food and drink
  • Additional activities (spa, horseback riding, yoga, etc.)

Donated by Tessa Gunther and Scott Hagg

Stay at this gorgeous Colorado home where outdoor recreation meets wine (valued at $1,925)

Desert home in Colorado

Experience 7 days, 6 nights, 1 heavenly time in Colorado

It’s time to make some memories — and do it in style! Your unforgettable visit to the River City of Colorado starts with you making yourself at home in this architecturally distinctive, high desert retreat on 10 acres — less than 10 minutes from downtown Grand Junction and all its unique shops, restaurants and music venues.

The two private wings are joined by a great room and spacious open kitchen with sweeping views in all directions. While the quarters sleep up to seven, the ideal accommodation is for two couples (with or without children).

Step outside the architectural dreamhouse and you’ll find 12 miles of single track biking and hiking at the nearby Lunch Loop trail. Keep the adventures going by taking Rim Rock Drive over the Colorado National Monument or touring the valley’s 20-plus vineyards. At night, you can enjoy both the stars, the glimmer of city lights — and the company of the memory-makers you’re with.

3 bedrooms, sleeps 7, beds for 5-7

  • Master bedroom: 1 queen
  • Guest bedroom: 1 queen
  • Tower room: 1 twin/ single
  • MediarRoom: 1 sleep sofa /futon
  • All four rooms have privacy, arranged in two wings of the house. Maximum sleeping arrangements best for extended family, two couples with children or close group of friends. Media room connects to guest room, making the suite good for couple with kids.


  • 7 days in May-November in 2017 or 2018
  • Property is professionally managed with concierge services designed to make your stay comfortable and memorable
  • Signed copies of Monument Road and Inhabited by award-winning author (and owner of this home!) Charlie Quimby


  • Winner covers flight to and from Colorado, car rental, and food expenses

Donated by Charlie Quimby and Susan Cushman

Stay one incredible week at Causeway on Gull Lake Winter Resort (valued at $1,200)

Causeway on Gull

Break away to this premier family winter getaway

Relax, refuel, and repeat it all over again at Causeway on Gull Lake — Minnesota’s premier winter destination and in-demand family getaway. Enjoy activities like winter mountain biking, snowmobiling, skiing, ice-fishing, and more!

And when you’re done outside, stay cozy inside in this six-plex marvel, featuring three bedrooms with a lock-off design. Choose a two bedroom that sleeps six, a one bedroom that sleeps 4 or combine the two units for a 3 bedroom that sleeps 10!


  • 1 week stay from January 12, 2018 – January 19, 2018
  • The lockout sleeps 10 on three separate floors and two separate kitchens


  • Winner covers food, extracurriculars, and transportation to and from Causeway on Gull Lake

Donated by Mary Ebert and Paul Stembler

The ultimate New York new play theater experience for two (valued at $1,700)

Public Theater

See the most exciting new plays in NYC before they become hit plays seen around the world!

There’s nothing like theater in New York! Let the Playwrights’ Center design your Big Apple experience with premium tickets to the most exciting, most challenging, most buzzed-about new play productions the city has to offer. Enjoy 4 days, 3 nights seeing theatrical magic.


  • 4 days and 3 night’s hotel stay
  • Premium House seats to 3 of NY theater’s most brilliant productions of new plays at theaters to choose from such as The Public, Second Stage, Atlantic Theatre Company, the Vineyard & more.
  • $200 towards dinner at a restaurant of your choice
  • Pre-trip meal with Jeremy B. Cohen to personally curate your New York trip


  • Winner covers flight to and from New York, NY and city transportation

Catch what’s buzzworthy with this exclusive Portland theater package for two (valued at $1,200)

Portland Oregon sign, creative commons license, flickr user Torsten Kjellstrand/2011

See the best of Portland’s theater scene

Enjoy 4 days and 3 nights in Portland, Oregon! Let the Playwrights’ Center curate your Portland experience with the very best theater performances this exciting artistic community has to offer.


  • 4 days and 3 night’s hotel stay
  • Premium House seats to shows at 3 of Portland’s most dynamic theaters (Portland Center Stage, Artists Repertory Theater and Portland Playhouse) and meet with the artistic directors
  • $150 towards dinner at a restaurant of your choice
  • Pre-trip meal with Jeremy B. Cohen to personally hand-pick your Portland trip


  • Winner covers flight to and from Portland, other food, and extracurricular activities


In advance of the live auction, 100 Golden Raffle Tickets will be sold for $100 each. The winner of the raffle will choose any of the live auction packages as their prize. Raffle tickets may be purchased (via cash or check only) at the event or in advance by calling Alayna Barnes at 612-332-7481 x110.

Congratulations to OMAR ANSARI, winner of the Golden Ticket Raffle!

More information

Thank you for supporting the brave and curious playwrights from around the world who call the Playwrights’ Center home.

Host committee

Jeffrey Bores and Michael Hawkins
Peter and Maura* Brew
Creative Fundraising Advisors
Geoffrey M. Curley*
Barb* and Fran Davis
Barbara Field
Mary Beidler Gearen*
Betty Grant* and Bill Casey
Tessa Gunther and Scott Hagg

HGA Architects and Engineers
Char Hovi*
Piper Jaffray Companies
Bruce and Jean Johnson
Janet Jones and Rob Reul
Miriam Kelen
Ann* and Scott McCague
Jennifer Melin Miller and David Miller
David and Leni Moore

Jon Newman*
Carla Paulson*
Diane and Mark* Perlberg
Marcia and John Stout
Dana and Stephen* Strand
Andrew Swammi
Harry Waters Jr.*
William White
Wayne Zink and Christopher Schout

* Board of Directors


Common Roots Catering, Design Press Inc., Knock Inc., Western BankCreative Fundraising Advisors, Hit Her With The Skates, HGA, EMI, Geoffrey Curley and Associates, Triumph Productions, RBC Wealth Management