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.

Puppets made by Puppet Lab 2017 artists!

Puppet Lab 2016-17

The 2017 Puppet Lab performances feature brand new experimental work by four local emerging artists: Patty Gille, Madeline Helling, Allison Osberg, and Chamindika Wanduragala. After an intensive fellowship program that paired each artist with a mentor, these works are now ready for the main stage! Program Director: Alison Heimstead

Week 1 - March 17 & 18 at 7:30pm, March 19 at 2:30pm TICKETS
Fulfillingness' Rebirth by Chamindika Wanduragala
Chamindika Wanduragala explores the conflict surrounding an artist who becomes a mother through shadow puppet stop-motion animation.

Brothers by Madeline Helling
Two brothers take over their parents’ estate and discover that the demographics of the neighborhood are shifting, so they devise a plan to build a wall to keep the neighbors out.

Week 2 - March 24 & 25 at 7:30pm, March 26 at 2:30pm TICKETS
Bipolar Lite by Patty Gille
Bipolar Lite is a colorful variety show featuring puppets, masks, and slapstick performances that reflect Gille’s experiences and challenges living a bipolar life.

Mythomania by Allison Osberg
Mythomania is a fairly factual study of our post-truth world, told through the eyes of a sweet potato.

Tickets: $15

Learn more about Puppet Lab

This program is generously funded by the Jerome Foundation. All photos by Bruce Silcox. L-R: Gille, Helling, Osberg, and Wanduragala.

Helicopter flying over an explosion that says Action Sequence

Action Sequence

Created and directed 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.

Tickets $15 ($12 students)

Thursday, June 15th, 8pm
Friday, June 16th, 8pm
Saturday, June 17th, 8pm
Sunday, June 18, 2pm

Thursday, June 22nd, 8pm
Friday, June 23rd, 8pm
Saturday, June 24th, 8pm
Saturday, June 24th, Midnight

Recommended for ages 10+

The Story of Crow Boy

The Story of Crow Boy explores the difficult life yet compassionate vision of artist Taro Yashima. Yashima was imprisoned and tortured in the militarized fervor of Japan just prior to WWII and then faced discrimination in the USA as a Japanese émigré. Somehow despite such human brutality, he developed an ongoing faith in the sanctity of all peoples. This production draws on his autobiographical and fictional books including the Caldecott Award-winning CROW BOY (1955) about a young boy who learns to sing the “voices of crows” in defiance of his years of being bullied.

This production was named one of the 10 best plays of 2016 by Graydon Royce of the StarTribune and is back by popular demand for a special three day run July 13 - 15, 2017.

Created by Masanari Kawahara, Sandy Spieler, Steven Epp and Momoko Tanno.

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

Previous Mainstage Performances

Music Animated: A Puppet Concert Series featuring Dosh

October 2016



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