Summer 2002 Forward to a Friend


Beth Burns’ Subaru Forester helps her keep the
Guthrie Theater’s productions running smoothly down the road.

IN 1963,THE GUTHRIE THEATER opened in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The play was directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie, who had founded the theater in an effort to bring professional theater of the highest quality to the Midwest. In the decades since, the Guthrie has evolved into America’s flagship regional theater and one of the most respected professional theater companies in the world. The theater currently has 32,000 subscribers, and serves more than 400,000 people annually, mounting 10 to 12 full-scale productions every year.

One of the Guthrie’s key annual productions is its touring show. Every year, the theater takes one of its productions on a regional tour. And these aren’t stripped-down, one-act plays, either. The Guthrie takes full-scale productions all over the upper Midwest to smaller towns that wouldn’t normally have access to professional theater.

Recently, the Guthrie hit the road with the largest tour in its history, a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With a cast of 20 actors and three semi trucks full of sets, costumes and equipment in tow, the tour traveled to 16 cities in seven states. More than 50,000 people saw the show, including 20,000 students.

Even though the touring show is only on the road for four months, the Guthrie’s Director of Touring Programs, Beth Burns, works year-round to help keep the theater’s productions on schedule and running smoothly. Driving more than 30,000 miles a year, she visits all of the cities and towns on the tour’s schedule.

Beth relies on her Subaru Forester to get her where she needs to go. “I needed a vehicle with lots of cargo space for costumes, set models, actors and promotional materials,” she says. “I wanted a vehicle I could feel safe in while traveling at all hours of the day and night, and in awful weather conditions. And since we’re a nonprofit organization, I needed a vehicle that would be affordable and get great gas mileage, too.”

“That’s a lot to ask,” she says, “But I found exactly what I was looking for in my Forester.”