Donate to Bring Prehistoric Puppet Magic to our Stage!

We need your support! In February of 2022, Heart of the Beast will produce our first major puppet and mask performance since 2018, The Impact Theory of Mass Extinction, by Junauda Petrus-Nasah.

Impact Theory tells the story of two black, queer, teens who discover dinosaur bones in their South Minneapolis neighborhood! Our teens get sucked through a prehistoric portal, where they explore extinction theories ranging from the scientifically accepted to the outright absurd. On their Jurassic journey, our protagonists draw comparisons to their own lives, reflecting on themes of ancestry, queerness, and non-binary identity.

Impact Theory’s playwright, Junauda Petrus-Nasah, is an acclaimed poet, playwright,
screenwriter, and multi-dimensional performance artist. West-Indian descended and African-sourced, she grew up in Minneapolis’s own Phillips and Powderhorn neighborhoods.

A community of artists will breathe life into Petrus-Nasah’s South Minneapolis Dinosaur adventure. This production will be born from the skills of local artists with diverse expertise: shadow, table top, and large-scale puppet builders; mask makers; musicians; puppeteers; filmmakers; and actors.

Will you help us bring these dinosaurs alive with a donation?


[Image Description: On a yellow backdrop two cartoon-style, large, red dinosaur footprints appear beneath three green leaves, of different shapes and sizes]

Ever wonder what it's like behind the scenes of a Black Queer 80s prehistoric puppet production?

Playwright Junauda Petrus-Nasah talks about the inspiration behind Impact Theory and puppet-builder Steve Ackerman speaks on the magic of artistic collaboration in this interview!

Yanimadeit - videographer/editor

Zephyr Sheedy - videographer of outdoor workshop

Why choose puppets to tell the story?

Junauda describes her deep connection to puppetry and speaks to the puppet epiphanies that strike when you embrace the art form. Steve warns us that the puppet builders of Impact Theory are ready to get weird and shares his puppet-building visions.

Yanimadeit - videographer/editor

Zephyr Sheedy - videographer of outdoor workshop


Impact Theory is produced with the support of The Jim Henson Foundation

Squares (1)

Sponsor a Performance!

At HOBT, we are committing our future to uplifting BIPOC multi disciplinary artists, bringing their voices to the forefront of our work. The creative brilliance of this team will bring prehistoric puppet magic to our stage.

The next generation of BIPOC puppeteers need to see themselves reflected in art forms that are descended from BIPOC ancestral communities. Your gift of $1,000 sponsors a performance, making it free for the entire audience.

[Image Description: A green cartoon water-colored textured, triceratops, marches over blue text that reads "sponsor a show." A green vine hangs down in one corner, while a large green leaf appears in another.]

Make a Sustaining Donation

Become a Monthly Donor!

As a monthly donor, your gift ensures that Heart of the Beast is healthy and thriving. Your contribution to the annual fund allows us to continue to produce and commission works like Impact Theory for community to gather around.

Why give monthly?

PAPERLESS! You can choose to no longer receive our paper appeal mailings! You will receive one statement in January with a summary of your giving history for tax purposes.

Smaller monthly contributions! Do you normally give $100 a year? Break that down to a manageable $9 a month donation and you have hit your $100 mark (actually its $108, for you math geniuses out there). This is a great way to make your donations more financially manageable, while also ensuring reliable support for HOBT throughout the year.

[Image Description: the Heart of the Beast logo appears, a hand with over-laid on a face, with text that reads "In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre."

Want to make a gift in memory of someone?

Either mail a check to the theater with a letter explaining your wishes - OR - make the gift online and email your instructions to us at [email protected]

HOBT is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and your gift is 100% tax deductible.

THANK YOU to our funders and friends

Many thanks to the hundreds of individuals who have joined Heartbeats, made monthly sustaining gifts, made Give to the Max donations, and contributed time and resources to support HOBT programming this year. The Board, Staff, Artists and Volunteers sincerely THANK YOU for your continuing generosity.

  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Minnesota State Arts Board – Operating Support
  • McKnight Foundation
  • Hugh J. Andersen Foundation
  • HRK Foundation
  • Target
  • Fidelity Charitable Funds
  • Community Shares of Minnesota
  • Troutman-Blumenshine Family Fund
  • Cy and Paula DeCosse Fund
  • Phoebe and Maureen Trepp – Minnesota Community Foundation
  • Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association Inc.
  • Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
  • One Minneapolis Fund

All photos by Max Haynes