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Collection on the Cricket Theatre

Identifier: M/A 0279

Description of Contents

The Cricket Theater Collection consists of two boxes. The first box includes scrapbooks, clippings, newsletters and season brochures. Newspaper clippings continue in box 2 along with performance programs.


  • 1968 - 1989


Access Restrictions

The collection is available for use in Special Collections during the department's open hours.


The Cricket Theatre started in 1968 in a building on Hennepin Ave and 28th street. With the success of, House of Leather, their first big hit, the theater decided to travel the show reaching local Twin Cities residents and moving on to New York where it flopped and the company promptly disbanded. After a brief break, the theater started up again in 1971, relocating to a movie theater in Northeast Minneapolis, now the Ritz Theatre. The Cricket got into dispute with their landlord who was overcharging them for rent and they won the case, receiving one year of free rent at that location.

The theater company moved into the Hennepin Center for the Arts in 1978 and between then and the late 1980s, the theater had three different artistic directors: William Semens, Lou Salerni, and William Partlan. The company closed yet again for a period in the 1980s due to lack of funding.

The Cricket Theatre, known for producing shows from emerging artists, closed in 1996 for financial reasons, which left the company $120,000 in debt. Their last show, Triple Espresso, became the biggest hit in the theater's 26-year history and continued to be performed locally and internationally, following The Cricket's closure, for the next seventeen years.


0.83 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Related Materials in Hennepin County Library Special Collections

An oral history interview with William Semans, founder of the Cricket Theatre is available in the SCMC Oral History Collection and can be listened to online (31 min.). Semans discusses how the theater was founded and talks about the early shows at the theater, the differences between large theaters and small theaters, how he selected plays for the Cricket, and the struggles of working in the theater as one ages.

Collection on the Cricket Theatre
October 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.