Jungle Theater

January 25, 2023

Amount Requested$20,000.00


2951 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408

Christina Baldwin

Artistic Director

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  • Broaden Perspectives Through Art, Culture, Literature or Extracurricular Experiences
Proposal Information

Funds are Being Requested for:

General Operating

Mission Statement

The Jungle Theater creates courageous, resonant theater that challenges, entertains, and sparks expansive conversation. The Jungle’s vision is to be a neighborhood theater with national impact, indispensable to our community and aspirational to the field. 

Amount Requested


Program Budget
Organizational Budget


Relationship to the Olseth Family Foundation


Summarize Your Request

The Jungle Theater requests $20,000 in General Operating Support from the Olseth Family Foudation to enable the theater to continue serving its mission to create courageous, resonant theater that challenges, entertains, and sparks expansive conversation. The funding will support the theater’s artistic and organizational goals, which align with the Olseth Family Foundation’s goal of seeking a more inclusive society.

Artist diversity and inclusion is a top priority at the Jungle. Last season, women represented 50% of playwrights we produced, 60% of directors, 63% of designers, and 39% of performers. People of color represented 50% of playwrights, 60% of directors, 46% of designers, and 89% of performers. In the two seasons before the pandemic, 60%-100% of directors were women as were 43%-68% of performers, and 20% of directors plus 39%-42% of performers were artists of color. The Jungle also prioritizes inclusion of LGBTQIA2S+ artists and nonbinary artists in our work. Three of the four Cohort Artists are people of color, representing 0.375 FTE staff in FY23. 

The funding will also partially be used to support the Artistic Cohort at the Jungle. These funds will be essential to our next season and the continued development of this still-new model. Past support from the Olseth Family Foundation has been integral is helping to launch this initiative and we have seen great success from this leadership model. Most significantly, the 2022-23 season has been chosen in close collaboration with the cohort and one of the productions this coming spring is 5, written by cohort member JuCoby Johnson. The season will end with a production of THE COURTOOM: A REENACTMENT OF ONE WOMAN’S DEPORTATION PROCEEDINGS, directed by cohort member James Rodriguez.

Original productions like Arian Moayed’s THE COURTROOM: A REENACTMENT OF ONE WOMAN’S DEPORTATION PROCEEDINGS, Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND, and JuCoby Johnson’s 5, along with our current season’s presented works like Sara Davis Buechner’s OF PIGS AND PIANOS and Seth Bockley, Ahmed Moneka and Jesse LaVercombe’s KING GILGAMESH & THE MAN OF THE WILD, feature a broad range of perspectives beyond the traditional white, heterosexual, male, Western theatrical canon. These works also provide opportunities for artists of all backgrounds in directing, design, performance, and more, while inviting audiences of color and younger audiences that previously have been underrepresented at the Jungle. 

Overview of the Grant Request

Population Served

We welcome between 4,200-5,400 individuals to each one of our productions and dozens of artists every year. For the Jungle’s most recent 3-play season (2021-22), audiences were 78.5% white and 21.5% people of color (supported by a co-producing partnership with Theater Mu), 45% age 55 or older, 58% female, 37% male, and 5% non-binary, as well as 22% who self-identified as LGBTQIA2S+.

Geographic Area Served

Last season’s audiences were primarily Twin Cities metro-based (94%), with 2% from Greater Minnesota

List Three Measurable Goals That This Funding Will Help You Achieve.

Continue producing ambitious, high-quality theater

Continue building diverse, engaged, and loyal audiences

Continue supporting our Artistic Cohort and their artistic visions, projects, and influence on the Jungle Theater.

How Will You Accomplish These Goals?

To produce ambitious, high-quality theater, the Jungle will continue to nurture new talent, pay artists fairly, and partner with other theaters and arts organizations to enable our entire community to be uplifted – artistically and financially.

To build diverse, engaged, and loyal audiences, the Jungle will continue use of our still-new Pay As You Are ticketing model, which allows patrons to select a ticket price as low as $10. We will also continue to survey our audiences with post-show surveys. These surveys have given us great insight into what our patrons are responding to and how they feel about our productions. We are continuously fine-tuning our messaging and communication strategies with our audience. We aim to be helpful, succinct, and meaningful with our marketing and outreach.

To continue supporting our Artistic Cohort and their artistic visions, projects, and influence on the Jungle, we will get feedback from our inaugural cohort’s experience. We will continue to devote resources to the cohort’s personal artistic development, their salaries, and their individual projects. We’ve learned a lot from the first two years of this endeavor and will put that knowledge to use.

Looking Forward, How Will You Measure These Goals?

These goals will be measured by ticket sales, audience and artist surveys, critical response, and anecdotal feedback, and fiscal and operational stability.

Implementation Plan

Start Date


End Date


Describe Most Significant Collaborations With Other Organizations And Efforts.

For our production of THE COURTOOM, the Jungle will be collaborating with The Advocates for Human Right and The Advocates’ Womens’s Rights Program. We are in discussions about hosting special events and post-show talkbacks with these organizations. Jungle Theater will also be partnering with Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. We will be planning CLE training for lawyers with their help as well as talkbacks after the production.

The production of 5 will be co-produced with Trademark Theater, which is a small Twin Cities theater company. Trademark is dedicated to creating a diverse range of new, dynamic, Minnesota-born theater productions. The Jungle Theater has also recently collaborated with Theater Mu on last season’s co-production of CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND by Lauren Yee. Theater Mu, located in Saint Paul, MN, is the leading Asian American theater in the Midwest, and the second largest in the company. Through this collaboration, the Jungle was able to build relationships with Asian American communities in Minnesota.

The Jungle maintains a longtime collaboration with Project SUCCESS, an organization that helps local students to set and achieve personal and academic goals. Each season, we provide 300-500 free tickets for students and their families. These theater experiences are a starting point for Project SUCCESS staff to work with diverse students via partnerships with Minneapolis Public Schools.

What Is The Projected Timeline For The Proposed Activities?

These activities will be going on throughout the next year. Upcoming performances include 5, with rehearsals beginning in February, opening March 11, and closing April 16; and THE COURTROOM, which runs June3 and closes July 2.

Supplemental Information

Current Year Organizational Budget


Program Budget For Proposed Funding Period
Audited Financials (if applicable)
Other Entries
Approval Status