The Story Behind the Guthrie’s The Master Butcher Singers Club

On September 11, the Guthrie Theater will premiere The Master Butcher Singers Club based on the book by Louise Erdrich—the first play derived from the acclaimed author’s work. The director, Francesca Zambello, made her name in taut, psychological takes on classic opera before turning to Broadway and eventually the Guthrie, premiering Little House on the Prairie a couple years back.

Here, Erdrich talks at the Guthrie’s season announcement about their collaboration:


With more than a dozen acclaimed novels to her credit (her first, Love Medicine, won the National Book Critics Circle Award), Erdrich might rightly be called Minnesota’s finest living author. Here, a fascinating conversation with her about the roots of her perspective:


Here, Zambello offers her take on bringing Master Butchers to the stage:


Here, Zambello chats about the cast, which includes Lee Mark Nelson, who was Bob Cratchit in last year’s A Christmas Carol and John Dickinson in 1776, along with Emily Gunyou Halaas, who starred in Theatre Latte Da’s Passage of Dreams and Park Square’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (though she was neither of them):

For more about Louise Erdrich and Master Butchers Singing Club, read “Staging Erdrich.”