Relocating mosque forces Bedlam Theatre to moveby Chris Roberts, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A popular Minneapolis theater and nightclub is being forced to relocate.
Fine Associates, the owner of the Bedlam Theatre, has asked the the theater to move so the Darul Quba mosque can take its place. The original mosque is being razed as part of a Cedar-Riverside redevelopment plan.
The Bedlam Theatre moved into what used to be the Baja Riverside cafe in 2007. John Bueche, the theater's executive artistic director, said transforming the building into an arts haven that serves food and alcohol has been a successful experiment.
"If you asked us in 2006, even I wouldn't have imagined it was possible," he said. "Now we just have to catch up and make sure we really understand what we learned here."
Maren Ward, the co-artistic director, said the theatre has laid a strong foundation for the future.
"We created a vision for what can happen when you expand your thinking beyond 'we are a theater' or 'we are a bar and restaurant' or 'we are a nightclub' and what can happen when it all can take place in one space," Ward said.
The theater has to leave the building by September 7. Programming is expected to continue at the nearby Mixed Blood Theater. The search for a new, more permanent location has already begun.