Updated: 1:05 p.m. | Posted: 11 a.m.
Theatre in the Round is about to get an eye-popping new look.
The 245-seat community theater at Seven Corners in Minneapolis announced plans Tuesday for new murals on its brick exterior. It has commissioned California artist John Pugh, who specializes in trompe l'oeil ("fools the eye") 3-D effects.
A press release quotes Pugh describing the project as "one of the most powerful murals I've ever done."
On the south wall of the theater, now a blank blue wall facing the West Bank station of the Green Line, Pugh plans to paint an enormous sphere that appears to be smashing through the facade.
On the north wall, layers of brick will appear to be peeling back to reveal actors in a dressing room within. (The theater's actual dressing rooms are in the basement.)
On the front of the theater, facing Cedar Avenue, Pugh plans to preserve some of the (until now) iconic blueprint mural that describes the theater's design. Renderings suggest that the theater will keep the gigantic blue neon sign that faces Cedar.
"It's fantastic," said Steven Antenucci, the theater's executive director.
The press release says the project will be paid for partly by private donations and an existing fund for exterior renovations. The theater is also launching an online fundraising campaign to help support the effort. Antenucci said he expects the work to cost more than $400,000 and be finished this fall.