MN History Center

345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102

Museum Hours

Tue 10 am-8 pm
Wed-Sat 10 am-5 pm
Sun Noon-5 pm 
Closed Monday (Open Monday holidays year round)
Museum Holiday Hours

Library Hours

Tue 9 am-8 pm
Wed-Sat 9 am-4 pm
Closed Sunday and Monday
Library Holiday Hours




2017 Mar 30


Penumbra Theatre at 40: Art, Race and a Nation on Stage

Penumbra Theatre at 40: Art, Race and a Nation on Stage

On view February 18 — July 30, 2017

MNHS is proud to mark Penumbra Theatre’s 40th anniversary with the Penumbra at 40 exhibit at the Minnesota History Center.

For the past 40 years, Penumbra has ignited social change through art grounded in the African American experience. The Penumbra at 40 exhibit provides a behind-the-scenes look at the founding and history of the nation’s largest and preeminent African American theater. Original scripts, props, costumes and more document Penumbra’s epic journey and its unwavering commitment to artistic excellence and social justice.

Inside the exhibit, you can:

  • Step into a set from the play Fences by August Wilson
  • Sit at a dressing room table and hear Penumbra actors share their favorite stories
  • View theater artifacts, including costumes, playbills, props and set models
  • Color in costumes and sets at the art table
  • Discover the stories behind some of Penumbra’s most beloved plays

Penumbra Theatre at 40 is organized by the Minnesota History Center in partnership with Penumbra Theatre Company, the Givens Collection of African American Literature at the University of Minnesota Libraries, and Umbra: Search African American History. Funding for this exhibit is made possible by the Legacy Amendment, thanks to the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008, who provided a gift for future generations.


Penumbra Theater Umbra University of Minnesota LibrariesClean Water Land and Legacy Amendment