Main Stage Productions

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.


Due to COVID-19 all programing & performances have been postponed

You can read our full COVID-19 Update here.

We hope to reschedule these performances at a later date and look forward to connecting with you digitally in the days and weeks to come!

Coming Home to Wild: New Puppet Works on Extinction and Resilience

March 21st and 28th, 7pm

Tickets on sale now!

Coming Home to Wild reminds us: we are not the only ones wondering what wholeness feels like as the world burns.  Through music, puppet performance, and a light community meal we will strengthen our collective resistance and resilience.

Experience new puppet works by Julie Boada (Anishinabe), Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra (Maya-Lenca), and Wild Conspiracy (Elle Thoni and company) and Montana Cypress (Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida) with New Native Theatre who ask: in the face of extinction and climate catastrophe, what do our ancestors have to teach us about resilience? You are invited to join the circle as our ancestors, human and more than human, speak, sing, and soar. Encounter stories of our time that awaken rather than paralyze reminding us of the world as it truly is, in all its beauty and its pain.

All ticket income will benefit Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)

Neighborhood Night at Midtown Global Market: Free Puppet Shows for Kids & Families

Midtown Global Market is hosting six, FREE Heart of the Beast performances in the Midtown Central Court on Thursday nights during the weekly Neighborhood Night celebrations this winter.

Come for the show at 5:30pm and stay for the “Make-n-Take” workshop based on that day’s puppet show theme. You’ll leave with your own puppet creation to take home.

Puppet Cabaret

As HOBT and MayDay enters a moment of metamorphosis and transformation, so does Puppet Cabaret! 

Steve Ackerman & Akiko, co-curators of Puppet Cabaret, are excited to expand the circle of cabaret artists by seeking (short!) applications for our upcoming Puppet Cabaret on April 24th! Selected artists will be given a stipend of $75 and 15 hours rehearsal/build space at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre.

Performances should be 5-10 minutes in length, and in some way, somehow, involve puppetry.  Puppetry covers a wide variety of forms, from hand, shadow, rod, finger, to crankie, cantastoria, to randomly moving around a trash bag in a poetic manner.  We are open to you challenging that definition and encourage those of all skill levels in the form to apply.

Previous Mainstage Performances

Puppet Lab 2019


March 2019

Puppet Lab 2018


March 2018

Make Believe Neighborhood


February 2018

Action Sequence


June 2017

Music Animated featuring Dreamland Faces


February 2017

Music Animated: A Puppet Concert Series featuring Dosh


October 2016




Basement Creatures


March 2016

The Story of Crow Boy


February 2016

Puppet Cabaret


Hosted by Daniel Polnau Music by The Controversial New “Skinny Pill” A cabaret of puppet shows by the Twin Cities puppet community, with popcorn, booze and live music.  Come see puppets…

Between the Worlds


2015, 2013, 2002

PuppetLab: Basement Creatures, Dust


PuppetLab 2015 – Week 2: Basement Creatures, Dust HOBT’s new artist incubator PuppetLab is back, and celebrating 5 years of radical, genre-expanding, boundary-pushing work. Join us in the Avalon Theater…

PuppetLab: Princess Bari, Cellula


PuppetLab 2015 – Week 1: Princess Bari, Cellula HOBT’s new artist incubator PuppetLab is back, and celebrating 5 years of radical, genre-expanding, boundary-pushing work. Join us in the Avalon Theater…

La Natividad


2016, 2014, 2012, 2008, 2007, 2006



Ada/Ava Manual Cinema Saturday September 27th, 7:30pm Performance at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre – 1500 E. Lake St., Mpls     More information and tickets available at…

Skeletons in the Closet


Skeletons in the Closet Gustavo and Julie Boada Saturday September 27th, 10am and 12noon Family friendly – part of the HOBT Saturday Shows for Kids Series Performance at In the…

The Mysterious Metamorphosis of Mr. Krank


The Mysterious Metamorphosis of Mr. Krank Toybox Theatre and Cripps Puppets Friday September 26th, 5pm Performance at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre – 1500 E. Lake St., Mpls More…

Love is…


Love is… Performed by Larry Hunt Thursday September 25th, 8pm Performance at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre – 1500 E. Lake St., Mpls More information and tickets available…

On-time Circus


  On-time Circus Performed by Margo McCreary and Company Thursday, September 25th, 3:30pm Family friendly Performance on the Midtown Greenway – just east of Chicago Ave. More information at Part…

Tracing Fault Lines


Erupting volcanoes, agriculture gone rogue, and a river of humanity that winds around Neglect… all on stage? Mad Munchkin Productions’ exciting new work uses puppetry, mask, movement, and original music…

Puppets After Dark Cabaret


Have you ever wondered nervously how to go about asking that pretty boy or girl to dinner and a movie? Does your stomach ulcer ping every time you think about…



January 2014

Echo More Strongly, Moonstruck: An Improbable Romance, Odyssey: The Soles’ Journey Home, The Lie


We’ll be hosting a food drive for PuppetLab this year. See below show descriptions for more details!  PuppetLab is a bold program at HOBT that supports emerging puppet artists in…

La Guadalupana/Our Lady of Guadalupe


December 2013

7 Person Chair Pyramid High Wire Act


October 2013

These Thousand Waves are Mighty Armor – DRACULA


Halloween Lobby Spectacular! Created by Fortuna Puppet Theater October 25 and 26, 2013 An intimate shadow show, and a ghoulish delight, just in time for Halloween! Join us for this…

Strombolli’s Medicine Show


Created by Daniel Polnau September 13-15, 20-22, and 27-29 at 8pm. Tickets: $10. Age: 17+ In the words of Strombolli, master of ceremonies, mixer of elixirs, swami of sideshows and…

I have filthy habits & Five Rules for Walking


March 8-10, 2013 I have filthy habits Eben Kowler Two siblings and an explorer cross paths in a terrarium. Weather patterns and behavior trends emerge, as three performers follow their…

Oompah Cabaret


March 30, 2013 · 9pm Come celebrate: Céline Dion’s Birthday Francisco Goya’s Birthday Vincent Van Gogh’s Birthday MC Hammer’s Birthday National Doctor’s Day (US) National Cleavage Day (South Africa) The day…

There’s Nothing to Tell


A full length work by Annie Rollins for the shadow theatre mixing traditional Chinese and North American styles to present the story of a Grandfather shadow puppeteer in China’s dying…

Lepus Nacht & Cartooon


Puppet Lab: March 1-3, 2013 Lepus Nacht, A Night in the Warren by Benjamin Brockman A glimpse into a postapocalyptic landscape, in which the Lepus play and investigate with unending curiosity…

Kid Enkidu


Jan-Feb 2013

Shota and the Star Quilt


Shota and the Star Quilt December 27-29, 2012 Performed by Julie Boada and Esther Ouray Weaving together traditional folktale values with modern concerns for the urban environment and green issues.

2012: The Musical


November 7-18, 2012 In the Heart of the Beast partnered with New Native Theater and Bedlam Theater for this debut performance,a romp through the end of the world as we…



October 2012

The Pollen Road & meet me in the heart caves


PuppetLab: March 9-11, 2012 The Pollen Road Reed Ellis Aubin A talking plant detoxes and journeys to find roots and a vanishing language, while a farmer loses ground. Check out…

Melting & Ain’t Heard Tell


PuppetLab: March 2-4, 2012 Melting Mary Parker and Marg Rozycki Evangeline and Angela grapple with how the world transforms. They examine questions of stress, sacrifice, relationship to the world at…

Monkey Mind Pirates


by Z Puppets Rosenschnoz February 18-26, 2012 The world’s only puppet rock yoga opera for families in search of calm. The epic tale of a sea captain discovering the secrets…

Hard Headed Heart


by Blair Thomas February 11-12, 2012 High art meets low when the words of early 20th Century poets are given voice in this cabaret of wooden puppets, rolling paper scrolls…

Strombolli’s Medicine Show


January 2012

Mild Light: An Evening of Cantastoria


January 2012

Winter Dreams


December 2011

My Beloved Had Turned and Was Gone & An Elegant Threat


February 2011

For the Love of Puppets Cabaret


February 11, 2012 For the Love of Puppets, a cabaret of puppet shows by the Twin Cities puppet community, with food, drinks & live music!

Mortal City & Endurance


February 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



GIFT CERTIFICATES to our productions can be purchased by emailing [email protected]

Citation Of Excellence in the Art of Puppetry

Sandy Spieler, 2007

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre

Since 1975 UNIMA-USA has awarded Citations of Excellence (the "UNI") that recognize and reward the best of the puppetry arts in this country. In addition to encouraging worthy puppeteers, the goal of the Citations program is to provide credible recognition that will aid puppeteers as they seek audiences in this country and abroad. The Citations are awarded to shows that touch their audiences deeply; that totally engage, enchant and enthrall.