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From restoration to Revolution: Sheldon Theatre prepares for the next #30 years

Storm Large & Le Bonheur: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is set for Oct. 13, 2018, at the Sheldon Theatre. Submitted1 / 8
A new carpet design, specially created for the Sheldon, will honor existing motifs and palettes found throughout the building, Sheldon Theatre Executive Director Bonnie Schock explains during the season — and renovation — unveiling Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Sarah Hansen / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 8
A new "I <3 Sheldon" and #30 campaign encourages fans of the Sheldon to give extra above their normal commitment to help the Red Wing municipal theater reach audiences for another 30 years. Sarah Hansen / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 8
Cirque Mechanics will perform on Feb. 10, 2019, at the Sheldon Theatre. Submitted4 / 8
Robin Frohardt: The Pigeoning and Dumpster Monster will be on tap April 26-27, 2019, at the Sheldon Theatre. Submitted5 / 8
Caravan du Nord Minnesota Music Coalition: The Suburbs 40th Anniversary and Monica LaPlante are part the Sheldon Theatre's 2018-19 season. The concert date is Oct. 20, 2018. Submitted 6 / 8
President of the Sheldon Theatre Board of Directors Nancy Dimunation calls on attendees of the May 23, 2018, season announcement to find ways to support the Sheldon for many years to come. Sarah Hansen / RiverTown Multimedia7 / 8
Silent Horror Fest with Sheldon Theatre's historic organ will be held Oct. 31, 2018. Submitted8 / 8

The Sheldon Theatre has announced its 201-/19 season, and boosters promise that the venue will emerge from its summerlong restoration stronger than ever.

A Season Announcement Party was held Wednesday, May 23. Executive Director Bonnie Schock presented 37 unique performances across seven thematic series — great sounds, tradition, homegrown, enlighten, holiday, youth and family and film — all with an intentional Minnesota presence.

Shock introduced each series with a teaser video and people applauded for well-known acts including Jeremy Messersmith and Louie Anderson. They laughed for charming surprises such as "The Pigeoning," a comedy puppet play, and Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre, which features rescue animals and circus antics. A n especially crowd-pleasing moment occurred when Shock announced that the Sheldon will bring two silent film experiences to the stage, comedy shorts and horror, to be accompanied (as they were originally intended) by the theatrer's organ.

"The organ works but it needs love. It needs long-term love," Schock explained.

A central theme of the Sheldon's reopening is a focus on local connections and ensuring that the 2018 investment isn't just a one-time-only event. Supporters are encouraged to give "30 percent more" than they would normally or attend "30 percent more" events, championed by the Sheldon's new "#30 more" campaign.

"This generation's renovations are designed to first preserve and restore all of the grandeur, historic charm and the uniquely warm uniquely warm embrace of our jewel box — while also adding contemporary features that set this venerable stage for the next 30 years," Schock announced to the crowd.

The "enlighten series" is growing, Schock said, to give audiences more opportunities to engage firsthand with artists. These performances include artist talkbacks and classes. Many are also "kids play free" events where a child under 14 can get in free with the purchase of one adult ticket.

In terms of celebrating regional talent, Schock couldn't be prouder that the Sheldon will be the first greater Minnesota venue ever to host Prince's energetic backing band The Revolution.

"There's a real focus on Minnesota artists ... and that's exciting because with this season we're really trying to celebrate this place that is a really great Minnesota theatre that is filled with great Minnesota artists in this really cool Minnesota town," Schock said.

The Sheldon will support many off-site events this summer while the main building is under construction. Full details about summer shows and 2018-19 season events can be found online: General ticket sales begin July 5, but season tickets bundles and individual ticket sales for Friends of the Sheldon members can be purchased now.

To symbolize a new era, after the announcement was made, Sheldon boosters tied a ribbon on the building a week ahead of its official construction start date. The ribbon will be symbolically cut at a free public event on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018.

The season


  • The Revolution - Sept. 29
  • Sheldon Fête: House Party, with Special guests The New Standards and other Minnesota musical talents - Oct. 5
  • Shawn Colvin, an Acoustic Evening - Oct. 6
  • Storm Large & Le Bonheur, "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" - Oct. 13
  • Silent Comedy Shorts with Sheldon Theatre Organ - Oct. 14
  • Louie Anderson LIVE! - Oct. 26-27
  • Arts Midwest World Fest, Manhu - Oct. 28
  • Silent Horror Fest with Sheldon Theatre Organ - Oct. 31
  • Theatre Tout à Trac, "Pinocchio" - Nov. 2
  • The Stray Cat Lee Rocker - Nov. 3
  • Frank Ferrante, "An Evening with Groucho" - Nov. 9
  • Minnesota Opera with local senior choir, Voices of Opera - Nov. 14
  • Raphael Xavier, "Point of Interest" - Nov. 17
  • Phoenix Theatre, "Inspecting Carol" by Daniel Sullivan - Nov. 30-Dec. 1
  • The Good Lovelies Holiday Show - Dec. 7
  • Rhythmic Circus, "Holiday Shuffle" - Dec. 9
  • Doo Wop Project Holiday - Dec. 15
  • Cantus, Lessons and Carols for Our Time - Dec. 16
  • Continental Ballet, "Nutcracker" - Dec. 21
  • Killer Vees, Celebrating the Legacy of Bobby Vee - Dec. 29


  • Missoula Children's Theatre, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" - Jan. 12
  • Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater, "Matinee" adapted from the short story by Robert Coover - Feb. 2
  • Cirque Mechanics, "42 FT - A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels" - Feb. 10
  • Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, Valentine concert - Feb. 16
  • James Judd and Jen Kober from "Snap Judgment" - March 2
  • Colleen Raye, "A Musical Tribute to Patsy Cline" - March 8
  • Classic Albums Live Presents "Creedence Clearwater Revival: Chronicle Vol. 1" - March 15
  • Phoenix Theatre, The Norwegians by C. Denby Swanson - March 21-24 
  • Twilight Hours, "The Let Down Artist" - March 29
  • Arts Midwest World Fest, Unni Boksasp Ensemble - March 30
  • We are the Willows, "Picture" (Portrait) - April 5
  • Popovich Comedy Pet Theater - April 12
  • Robin Frohardt, "The Pigeoning and Dumpster Monster" - April 26-April 27
  • Leftover Salman - April 28
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - May 4
  • Jeremy Messersmith, "New Music from Late Stage Capitalism & Obscenely Optimistic Songs for Ukulele" - May 11