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Penumbra Theatre

Arts & Entertainment, Restaurants, Bars, Nightlife


The Penumbra Theatre was founded in 1976 by Artistic Director Lou Bellamy to create a forum for African-American voices in the Twin Cities' well-respected theater community. Through its commitment to provide realistic, inspirational works that redefine the consciousness of its audience, the Penumbra quickly garnered praise and a loyal following.

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Street, Private Lot













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Outdoor seating




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Rate & Reviews

How would you rate Penumbra Theatre?
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55 Reviews

55 Reviews


Last weekend, I had the privilege to see a show from students at the Penumbra Summer Institute. I was attending for a family friend who was a participant in the show. Not only was the performance fantastic, but the environment was superb as well. The cozy spacing of the theatre gave an intimate feel that pulled me into the show. I also saw many familiar faces from the community. The Penumbra is a theatrical gem and a place I hope to visit more often!


Unforgettable Experience! The cast gave their all in the performance. We (BGAPSA) held a reception at Penumbra before seeing the Ballad of Emmett Till as a group. The staff was extremely friendly and accommodating. H. Adam Harris was a phenomenal actor & even took time to welcome our group before the play. The show was absolutely amazing!

The audience members were then awarded the opportunity to hold intimate discussions with the cast after the play. I will never forget this experience and I look forward to visiting Penumbra again soon.

Steve B


I've always enjoyed Penumbra performances, but just saw their Aloud series with youth-written works from their Summer Institute. I went expecting something interesting, but left feeling inspired and truly touched. Great facility, but a group of people really putting some unique opportunities for art and social dialog together. Entertaining and though-provoking.


Awesome venue...beautiful and the shows featured there have been showcased talent. I was impressed and am anticipating hosting my first fashion show.

Audrey D


Thought provoking theater displaying work by area's leading directors, designers and performers. Not a bad seat in the house.

Kyle D


Very educational, amazing performance

Malone D


Jitney was a very good play. Liked the place. But the little bottles of water for $1 haha.

Kathy M


Amazing live theatre.

Jeff F


Professional eye opening theater. Under the radar and under attended. Thoroughly enjoyed all the performances that I've been able to attend.

Dave C


Excellent productions that always seem to be relevant, interesting and provoking.

jess c


The best African American theater in the Upper Midwest! Great talent. Original productions often go on to Washington D. C. or New York. Resonable ticket prices. If you have not been you Must get to a production at this Seminal theatre. They also do Youth Programs which are excellent.

Eli W


Very warm, cozy and welcoming. I've seen about eight plays at the Penumbra dating back to when Kimberly Elise was a member and not once was I disappointed. Absolutely love this theater!

Alanna M


Historic. Important. Brave. Integral to black history, Saint Paul history, and American history. Great programming that will entertain you, challenge and inspire you. A GEM.

Steve M


Great theater well done in the heart of Saint Paul. Always open to new experiences and challenging the status quo. Very good acting, small theater, comfortable seating, give it a try

Michelle L


Sometime ago I had the opportunity to work around the people I was a cleaner dam proud of it never saw anything like this so desided to go in the doors and man it was the best it's as if the pull you up with them you feel the power of all they say as if you your self where live

ng what they where acting love to go again some time hi to all thanks for letting me be a small part of your family

Michelle Peterson

Valeire J


Went to see Girl Shakes Loose this play was Great, singing was wonderful, the sets were different, interesting, the play is something you can relate to. Go see the play!

Karl H


The best of the best. We have been subscribers for years and they never disappoint!

Brooke S


Awesome theater in St Paul. Great shows and acting.

Jim H


Penumbra produces some is the best theater in the Twin Cities. New artistic director Sarah Bellamy is doing a great job with programming shoes that are complex bit also good stories, after a first year or two that was too pedantic. Powerful stuff to be seen there.

Jason B


I’ve only been to a few theaters in the area, but considering the quality of the acting, direction, and the writing of the plays that they choose to perform, this has got to be the best theater that the city has to offer. Their performance of “This Bitter Earth” was really exceptional.

Darringer F


I so enjoy the plays. Great date night place!

Susan M


I am grateful for Penumbra Theatre’s presence in our community.

Stephanie S


Fabulous performance in a great venue!



Beautiful preferences all the time. Amazing historical pieces. Small anf comfortable.

Molly Z


Beautiful, moving theater. Thank you for creating such thought provoking art.

Cassidy R


Equity theater has ticket prices for seniors. Always thought provoking plays.

Mary M


PENUMBRA theater is amazing. Each play is unique and amazing. Worth checking out.

Karen C


I love this theater. The staff is very friendly and productions always reflect things going on around the world and/or in the community.

Lynnette M


Love supporting this theatre! The Twin Cities is blessed to have such an amazing venue to see culturally relevant performances with some of the most amazing talent locally and abroad!

Chanel B


Love the Penumbra! The shows and atmosphere there, never disappoint!

Tray R


Parking available in a lot at the north end of the theatre and on the street. Student ticket prices make this historic theatre’s productions affordable for educational events. Seating is comfortable and the stage feels close no matter where you sit in the house. Superb—an understatement—performances and summer workshops make this theatre a critical cultural and artistic asset to the Twin City community. Do not miss out on all the Penumbra Theatre has to enrich and broaden your life.

Jude M


Wonderful, creative thestre community in the heart of the Rondo neighborhood.

Jim M


Long standing excellent vital theater company. Lovely small venue.

Ms E


Black Nativity at Penumbra is always fantastic. This year doesn't disappoint.

Steve H


What's with the 85 degrees for the audience? It was oppressively hot with a super hot, blast of air drilling us the entire performance of Black Nativity. For thos who do not know, 'Black Nativity', if you are old enough it is akin to Jesus Christ Superstar focusing on Jesus's birth in a soulful, R & B format. It's good, but could be better if the women soloists could sing consistently in key. The performance was ruined though by the blast furnace heat . .. almost like the Penumbra wanted us to experience the performance like we were literally in the desert, Mideast.

Meghann O


Always fantastic! Love the Black Nativity! It's a Twin Cities tradition and institution.

Steve K


Saw the Black Nativity here a couple days before Christmas 2018. The show was excellent and the facility is will kept.

Nathaniel C


Saw benevolence here, and the production was wonderful. Such a great space as well, and I really appreciate the outreach and accessibility efforts.

Leigh E


Very intimate, but comfortable theater. The production of Benevolence was intense and well crafted.

Richard M


Penumbra,never disappoints.Their shows,productions Talk Backs are always Diverse & Culturally Spot On.They Keep It Real



Great theater. The artistic staff did a wonderful job with Benevolence. At times the shared roles were confusing. The overall production was well done. The video of the actual events brought home the reality of the story. The timing of this production could not be better. Congratulations Penumbra

Drew M


Great theatre with a very well done stage. Staff was very friendly and helpful. Chairs are a little bit cramped but comfortable

Maria L


Love this place want they do for the community is great ... This place has great plays and great actors ... There a food shelf and so many opportunities its amazing...

Michael F


What an amazing performance for such a small space the sound was great lighting was amazing the stage you know it seems small that did more than enough with what they had. Obviously this type of theater company brings up a lot of great things that we need to talk about all of us. Now just get out there and spread the word about how important of a theater company this is. Thank you so much for such a well run machine.



Just saw Brothers Paranormal on its penultimate night and it was so well done. Thought provoking and powerful! The collaboration between Penumbra and Theater Mu is something all theater companies should work towards!

Christina N


A small intimate theater where you can feel close to the story being told. Penumbra tells us the stories that are often not seen in the Twin Cities biggest theaters. Historically showcasing black stories and actors and now collaborating with Theater Mu and others to tell stories of all Colors.

Eric L


Absolutely amazing performance of brothers paranormal, what they do with such a small space amazes me and they never fail to keep you enthralled

Mahva J.



Saw "Wedding Band" last night. This is a powerful, painful piece. The acting was such that it didn't feel like I was watching people on stage. It was this and 5 more

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