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Ordway Center for the Performing Arts


The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Minnesota's capital city, St. Paul, holds events such as touring Broadway musicals, cultural performers, opera, and orchestra. The Minnesota Opera, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Schubert Club all use the Ordway Center for the performances they hold. With all of the performing arts groups that call the Ordway Center home, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Events Calendar is full year-round. 


The idea of opening the Ordway Center, originally named the Ordway Music Theatre, came from Sally Ordway Irvine, an art lover and 3M heiress. Sally Ordway wanted to open a performing arts center that had a European-style concert hall feel that could host many different arts to the public. Sally Ordway contributed $7.5 million towards the cost of the Ordway Center St. Paul, and that amount was matched by others in the Ordway family. To cover the rest of the total $46 million cost of the Ordway Center, fifteen corporations and foundations in the Twin Cities area contributed funds as well. At the time, in 1980, the Ordway Center was the most expensive privately funded arts facility in the state of Minnesota.


Ben Thompson, a Saint Paul Minnesota native, was the architect that designed The Ordway Center of Performing Arts. The Ordway Center has two areas for performances, the Main Hall of the Ordway Center seating chart seats 1,900 art and music enthusiasts and the McKnight Theatre of the Ordway Center seating chart holds 306 art and music gurus. In addition to these two theatres, the Ordway Center has two large rehearsal rooms and the Marzitelli Foyer, which is a two-story lobby with a glass curtain wall which overlooks a view of Rice Park. Ordway Center tickets sell quickly because of the intimate Ordway Center seating.


The first public performance of the then Ordway Music Theatre took place January 1, 1985. The name change to Ordway Center was made in 2000. The Ordway Center annually hosts 400,000 art and music fans and hosts nearly 500 performances.  Check the Ordway Center schedule to see the array of performances coming soon and buy Ordway Center tickets now! To view the complete schedule of events coming to the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, click the Buy Tickets button.


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