2016 - 2017 Season

  • MUSIC ANIMATED - Dreamland Faces

upcoming shows medium

Each year we produce original, company-generated plays for both families and adults. Using visual, musical and movement narratives, in addition to words, In the Heart of the Beast translates complex issues of mind and society into images that breathe with soul and spirit.

QUEEN_01 - Copy


September 23 – October 2, 2016

Grandmothers hold memory and loose memory and lose memory; they have a broad understanding of love - a wide geography that one may get lost in. A grandmother suffers the loss of a grandchild, navigates grief, and retrieves memory - sharing it in a new world run by, loved by, kept whole by a solidarity of grandmothers.

The emotional heart of the piece is fired by compassion for the death of so many young African Americans at the hand of civil power. A robust cohort of collaborators, horizontally arrayed, present a full-length puppet-play that inverts a convention, putting a grandmother’s wandering, transformation and adventures at the center (rather than leaving her in the parentheses).

As Petrus writes: "What are all of the layers of a grandmother? For real. The woman who nurtured your nurturer? Grandmother is a force of earned warriorhood and sensual wildness." Who better to lead us through the landscape of trauma and grief toward creative evolutions into healing?

Co-written by Erik Ehn and Junauda Petrus
Directed by Alison Heimstead
Narrated by Laurie Carlos
Musical Direction by Taylor Johnson and Matt Larson
Created by the Ensemble

Tickets $15

Buy your tickets HERE

Friday, Sept 23 - 7:30pm (Pay What You Can)
Saturday, Sept 24 - 2:30pm and 7:30pm
Sunday, Sept 25 - 2:30 pm

Friday, Sept 30 - 7:30pm*Post Show Discussion
Saturday, Oct 1 - 2:30pm and 7:30pm
Sunday, Oct 2 - 2:30pm

Show length: 1 hour - no intermission

Recommended for Age 16 +

*There will be a Post-Show Discussion with the artists & playwrights on the evening of September 30th

*Star charts by Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg and released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

NEA 50 year logo

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Poster for Music Animated, and photo of Dosh with a swan puppet

Music Animated: A Puppet Concert Series

Featuring Dosh

Puppeteers and musicians collaborate to create an immersive experience similar to a live music video. Together, Buch and Dosh reflect the positive, passionate stories of Phillips and Powderhorn Neighborhoods.

Directed by Bart Buch
Music by Martin Dosh

Co-presented by In the Heart of the Beast and Music Animated

Tickets $20

Buy your tickets HERE

Oct. 20 - 8:00pm - ASL Interpretation Available
Oct. 21 - 8:00pm
Oct. 22 - 2.00pm - Family Special Matinee : Kids are only $2

Show Length: 70 Minutes - no intermission

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


Puppet Cabaret: Does it still have that weird smell?

Puppet Cabaret

November 19, 2016 at 9pm

Curated by Steve Ackerman. Details and ticket info coming soon!

La Natividad at HOBT

La Natividad

December 15 - December 22, 2016

Were taking the Nativity Story to the Streets!

Angels and shepherds. A suspicious king. A time of social distress. A pregnant woman knocks on the doors of the city, seeking shelter. Who is it that gathers to welcome the little one into this world? This is the Christmas Story, the story of the Holy Child born in our midst. This unique event honors the Mexican tradition of La Posada, leading everyone on a journey to four sites in our community. Enacted with beauty, humor, soulful live music, and an ending feast. (Performed in English and Spanish)

Ángeles y pastores. Un rey sospecho. Un momento de angustia social. Una mujer embarazada va de puerta en puerta por la ciudad, pidiendo posada. ¿Quiénes se reunirán para recibir al chiquito que llegará al mundo? Esta es la historia de la Natividad, la historia del niño santo nacido entre nosotros. Presentado en colaboración con la Iglesia Luterana de San Pablo, este evento único honra la tradición mexicana de las posadas. Caminaremos a la luz da las velas a varios lugares de nuestra comunidad. Imbuido de belleza y humor, con música en vivo y una fiesta con comida. (En inglés y español).

Presented in partnership with St. Pauls Lutheran Church

Directed by Sandy Spieler
Musical Direction by Laurie Witzkowski

Tickets: $23
Children, Seniors, Students or Groups of 10 or more: $17
----No one turned away for Lack of Funds----

Buy your tickets HERE

Thursday, December 15  6:30 PM
Friday, December 16       6:30 PM*
Saturday, December 17   6:30 PM
Sunday, December 18     6:30 PM

Tuesday, December 20   6:30 PM
Wednesday, December 21  6:30 PM
Thursday, December 22 6:30 PM

*ASL available on December 16th

Please note: Audiences must be mobile and dressed appropriately for the outdoors. The procession is 2 blocks long, beginning at In the Heart of the Beasts Avalon Theatre (1500 E. Lake St., Mpls) and culminating at St. Pauls Lutheran Church with a fiesta (music and food).

**We are currently looking for volunteers to be part of La Natividad. Download our Volunteer Roles & Rehearsal Schedule Guide for more information, then email scottie Hall at volunteer@hobt.org to sign up!**



Presented by Z Puppets Rosenschnoz & In the Heart of the Beast Mask and Puppet Theatre

A premiere production from Minneapolis performers Z Puppets Rosenschnoz, Cellula is like a bedtime story as told by biologists. Cellula illuminates the true marvels of cell science inside us all with dazzling glow in the dark puppetry and live acapella music. This glowing magnification of mitosis features highly acclaimed improvisational vocalists Mankwe Ndosi and Libby Turner with the blacklight puppetry of award-winning performers Shari Aronson and Chris Griffith, directed by master puppeteer Kurt Hunter.

Tickets: $15
Children: $8

Buy your tickets HERE

January 27  7pm
January 28  2pm and 7pm
January 29  2pm
February 3   7pm
February 4  2pm and 7pm
February 5  2pm

Recommended for ages 5 and up

Show Length: 50 minutes - no intermission


Music Animated: A Puppet Concert Series


Music Animated is a new co-produced project bringing together musicians and puppeteers to explore artistic collaboration and create concerts in which music is animated through visual imagery, puppetry, and video projections. Music Animated will feature two puppet-concerts in October 2016 with Dosh and February 2017 with Dreamland Faces.

Directed by Bart Buch
Music by Dreamland Faces

Co-presented by In the Heart of the Beast & Music Animated

Tickets $20

Tickets on sale soon

Feb. 23 - 8:00pm
Feb. 24 - 8:00pm
Feb. 25 - 2:00pm
Feb. 25 - 8:00pm

Show Length: 70 Minutes - no intermission

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Image by Zan Tomko
Image by Zan Tomko

Puppet Lab 2016-17

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre is excited to announce the selection of four emerging Minnesota artists to participate in the 2016-17 Puppet Lab program. Puppet Lab supports the creation and presentation of new and experimental work by emerging local artists. This will be Puppet Lab’s sixth year of generating radical, genre-expanding performances.

Emerging puppeteers Patricia Gille, Madeline Helling, Allison Osberg, and Chamindika Wanduragala will present their individual work over two weekends in March 2017.

Program Director: Alison Heimstead

March 17 - Times TBC
March 18 - Times TBC
March 24 - Times TBC
March 25 - Times TBC

Tickets on sale soon

Learn more about Puppet Lab

Action Sequence

by Steve Ackerman

A propane-fueled, muscle-bound, rough and tumble, torn shirt, bloody bicep, car chasing, bar fight, coming down on that bottom rung of a helicopter, flick a lit cigarette into a pool of gasoline so that as you’re walking away in slow motion that thing that everyone in the audience wants to blow up actually blows up behind you, all ending with a cool contextually relevant tagline, homage to 1980s action movie, action sequence.  But with puppets.

Coming Summer 2017!!!

GIFT CERTIFICATES to our productions can be purchased by emailing boxoffice@hobt.org

Previous Mainstage Performances

Basement Creatures

March 2016

The Story of Crow Boy

February 2016

Between the Worlds

2015, 2013, 2002

La Natividad

2014, 2012, 2008, 2007, 2006


January 2014

La Guadalupana/Our Lady of Guadalupe

December 2013

Kid Enkidu

Jan-Feb 2013


October 2012

Winter Dreams

December 2011

La Befana

December 2010 & 2001

A Path Home

November 2009

Beneath the Surface

2009, 2008

Decorate the Well in Gratitude

July 2008

Come to the Well

March 2007

A Company of Angels

2006, 2005, 2004

GOTAMA: A Journey to the Buddha

February 2006

The Pink Dress

November 2005

Lake Street Excavations

March 2005

Wild Swans

December 2003

From the Inside Out

March 2003

Queen Nanny, Queen Nanny!

January 2003

Seed: Awesome Vessel of Power

September 2002

Befriended by the Enemy

March 2002

The Nightingale

February 2002

City Rhapsody

November 2000

Gyre: Song for a Millennium

December 1999

The Reaper’s Tale

October 1989

Table, Table


A Life of HOH


Shoes of Infant Light