About The Ordway :-
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is an independent, nonprofit arts organization located at 345 Washington Street in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Center has two venues, a 1,900-seat Main Hall and an intimate 306-seat McKnight Theatre.
In 1980, Saint Paul resident Sally Ordway Irvine challenged her community to help her create a performing arts venue in which her dream of offering "everything from opera to the Russian circus" could be realized. She set an example by making the first donation to a fund that eventually built Ordway Center.
The Ordway cost a total of 46 million dollars to build. Sally Ordway Irvine contributed a total of 7.5 million dollars and her family graciously matched that amount. The Ordway name comes from Sally’s grandfather, Lucius Pond Ordway (1862-1948), a Saint Paul businessperson and early investor of 3M. The Center of Performing Arts was added to the Ordway name in January 2000, to reflect and embrace the multitude of performing arts available to the community.
The internationally known architect and Saint Paul native Benjamin Thompson and his firm, BTA and Associates, designed the theatre so that it would have original flair, but also fit harmoniously in front of Rice Park. It was also imperative that it fit in with its historical and somewhat stuffy downtown neighbors. The design team did an excellent job of creating an elegant and Old World feel. The main hall has wooden walls that make for outstanding acoustics and the McKnight Theater provides an intimate venue for the smaller shows. The three-level, windowed lobby is a trademark of the building and makes for great people watching.
The Ordway Music Theatre opened to the public on January 1, 1985. Throughout its existence, the Ordway Center has maintained Sally’s vision of advocating the importance of arts for society by offering a busy schedule of theater, dance, music, family events, and educational programs.
Four organizations call the Ordway home: the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera, the Schubert Club and the St. Paul series of the Minnesota Orchestra. Touring plays, the Planet Ordway series of performance arts and other arts events fill out the schedule.
Approximately 500,000 people attend approximately 600 performances each year. The diverse range of artists and performances attracts people of all ages and cultural heritages. Approximately 70,000 children and adults attend Education at Ordway Center which provides educational opportunities for children and adults consisting of student matinee performances, in-school residencies, community workshops, and pre- and post-show discussions.
The Center is top notch and offers amenities like no other event theatre. The large, inviting front doors of Ordway Center are opened by a smiling greeter in a top hat and concessionaires serve you the finest in treats. Ushers formally show you to your seats and the entire staff is committed to providing the finest performing arts experience possible to its many patrons.
The Ordway Center continues to bring the best of the performing arts to the Midwest. There are plenty of great shows that can’t be missed!