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THEATREX is an independent theatre project begun by Twin Cities-based theatremaker Joe Hendren. While plans were underway for several years, the first performances were held in 2018.

How do you pronounce THEATREX?

This is one of the more unexpected questions we get with some frequency. We know many people who call us Theatre X (two words) It was intended to be pronounced as one word: thee-uh-trecks - and that's the pronunciation we stick to. Ultimately, however, if people are talking about us and having positive experiences coming to our performances, that's more important.

What sort of shows do you produce?

The tagline, of sorts, used to describe THEATREX is "theatre that explores the unknown, seeks connection, and embraces the exchange of ideas." In practice that means producing plays that probe the scientific, the spiritual, or the supernatural, the elements that connect us all to each other and connect the past with the present and with the future; and that foster collaboration and discourse - both in the rehearsal room and with our audiences. Plays produced through THEATREX have included established plays produced in unique ways and brand new works.

How do you fund your work?

The vast majority of funding for THEATREX comes from ticket sales, meaning we produce shows with very trim budgets. Beginning in 2024, we also will invite patrons and interested parties to financially invest in our work. More details will be available soon. THEATREX is not a nonprofit organization.

About Joe Hendren, THEATREX founding producer

A life-long Twin Cities area resident, Joe Hendren has been active in the Twin Cities theatre community for more than 20 years as a director, actor, playwright, producer, and designer. Joe launched THEATREX in 2018 with the acclaimed production of The Haunting of Hill House, performed in the Historic James J. Hill House. He served as Artistic Director of Minneapolis Musical Theatre from 2018-2023. During his tenure, MMT produced a number of critical and audience favorites, such as Daddy Long Legs, Be More Chill, Hands on a Hardbody, and Othello: The Remix. Prior to filling MMT’s Artistic Director role, he was a part of such MMT hits as Evil Dead: The Musical, Gilligan’s Island: The Musical, and Happy Days – A New Musical. Directing highlights elsewhere include A Man for All Seasons with Open Window Theatre, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with Theatre Uncorked and Chameleon Theatre, Brecht's Antigone with Hamline University, Always... Patsy Cline and The Lion in Winter with The Phipps Center for the Arts, The Hobbit and You Can't Take it With You for Lyric Arts, Baskerville, Laura, and Of Thee I Sing for Lakeshore Players, and several dozen more. As a playwright, Joe has written original plays for Landmark Center's History Play program, has won local playwriting competitions, and has been produced by several area theatres and schools. Joe has a deep passion for utilizing theatre to affect social change and to foster discourse. At Hamline University, Joe was a part of Making Waves, a social justice theatre troupe that utilized Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. He also interned with Pangea World Theater, a multidisciplinary arts organization in Minneapolis with an emphasis on human rights and radical diversity. Joe has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Hamline University.


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