About MNTA

MNTA Mission Statement

To celebrate, elevate, and bring together Minnesota theater practitioners.

MNTA Artist Statement

Exceptional theater can happen everywhere. From the smallest to biggest stages and across all budget sizes, exceptional artistry and command of craft can create astounding performances and productions that move us to our cores. MNTA exists to reward bold and exceptional work, to create a jubilant atmosphere of camaraderie and conversation, and to raise the profile of talented theaters, productions, and practitioners in the state of Minnesota.

Our Award Creation Philosophy

There is no decisive definition for “Minnesota Theater,” there is no clear consensus on eligibility, and there is no clear consensus to who is qualified to nominate. These are the main takeaways from our community conversations. We have embraced this diversity of thought and transformed it into our guiding principles in how these awards will be conducted. What people consider “Minnesota Theater” is as varied as the individuals and groups that self-identify as part of the theater community. Self-identification and Transparency will be the guiding tenets of this process.

Our goal is to avoid systems that embrace “gatekeeping” and instead democratize the nomination/voting process while working to avoid “popularity contests” decided from a short list of eligible candidates. Art by its nature is subjective, and we want a system that embraces that. This platform will also work to allow for the expression of community ideals in theatrical excellence by the people who work and create in those communities. We do not expect, for example, the theater practitioners of Minneapolis to determine the impact and community value of theatrical work in Duluth, and vice versa. 

Lastly, our conversations with the community have revealed there is an interest in an evening of awards that is more party than ceremony, and so with that in mind, we have booked Aria Event Center, a venue that can facilitate both award presentations as well as socializing before, during, and afterwards. Our goal for this first year is to release a state-wide, region-based awards system, while focusing our celebration event efforts on the community we know best, the Twin Cities and surrounding metropolitan area.