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NEWS: Nimbus Rides on into The Kalevala

A promotional photo for The Kalevala. Pictured: Jim Ahrens. Photo by Mathieu Lindquist.

Last November, Nimbus Theatre announced that it was shutting its doors at 1517 Central Ave NE in Minneapolis. The reason? A rent increase that pushed past the company’s means, forcing it pack up and leave its home since 2011. The company’s founders were careful to couch this as a temporary pause rather than a permanent closure. “We plan to be operational in early spring,” co-founder Tim Cragun noted at the time.

As anyone who’s ever tackled a kitchen or bathroom remodel can attest, the plans and reality of creating the space that you call home often diverge. Spring came and went, but halfway through the summer Nimbus signed the lease on a former Westinghouse factory space at 2303 Kennedy Street NE in Minneapolis. Now that fall has arrived, the company is preparing to formally open its newfound home on October 8 with The Kalevala, an adaptation of the Finnish national epic.

Naturally, much remains to be done, including paying for the first stage of the space’s renovation and adaptation into the Crane Theater – named after a massive yellow industrial crane embedded in the structure. To this end, Nimbus is engaged in a Kickstarter campaign (ending October 14) to raise $25,000 to launch Phase 1. Stretch goals are an important aspect of any crowdfunding campaign; one of the several dangled by Nimbus will resonate with anyone who’s ever tried to visit a theatre: renovating the bathrooms.

Nimbus Theatre began its existence in 2001, when the company formed to stage its inaugural show at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. It operated at what is now the Minnsky Theatre starting in 2010, building a theatre space and a reputation for innovative programming while also playing host to a wide variety of performing events by other Twin Cities companies.

A floor plan of the planned transformation of the old Westinghouse factory space into a new performing arts center.
A floor plan of the planned transformation of the old Westinghouse factory space into a new performing arts center.



Basil Considine

Basil Considine is the Twin Cities Arts Reader‘s Performing Arts Editor and the Senior Classical Music and Drama Critic. Before joining the Arts Reader, he was the Twin Cities Daily Planet‘s Resident Classical Music and Drama Critic and a contributing writer for The Boston Music Intelligencer. He holds a PhD in Music and Drama from Boston University, an MTS in Sacred Music from the BU School of Theology, and a BA in Music and Theatre from the University of San Diego.