2017 - 2018 Season
- ACTION SEQUENCE
- THE STORY OF CROW BOY
- LA NATIVIDAD
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF MAKE-BELIEVE
- PUPPET LAB
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.
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.
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!
Created by Masanari Kawahara, Sandy Spieler, Steven Epp and Momoko Tanno.
Thursday, July 13
Friday, July 14
Saturday, July 15
All performances at 7:30 pm
Won't You Be My Neighbor? A puppet concert with MPLS (imPulse) choir
Friday, June 28, 2017 at 7:30pm
We’re joining forces with with the MPLS (imPulse) choir to celebrate Phillips Neighborhood as we feature live music paired with puppetry vignettes that draw texts and themes from our nearby residents. The event will culminate with a lantern procession in Powderhorn Park. Directed by Bart Buch.
Each quarter we host a puppet variety show with experimental performances by members of the local puppet theatre community and live music. Anything could happen in these late-night, low brow evenings MC’d by Dhann Polnau and coordinated by Steve Ackerman. Stay tuned to our e-mail newsletter and social media to find out when they are and who's performing! As always, when experimental puppet theatre is involved, adult content may arise.
Want to perform in a future cabaret?!? E-mail Steve: email@example.com
Returning December 2017!
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 Las Posadas. 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 a puerta por toda la ciudad, pidiendo posada. ¿Quiénes reunirán para recibir al chiquito que llegará al mundo? Esta es la historia de la Natividad, la historia del niño santo nacido entre nosotros. Este evento único honra la tradición mexicana de Las Posadas, en cual la gente va por las calles de su vecindario, pidiendo posadas a varias casas, como lo hicieron María y José esa noche, al comienzo de nuestros tiempos. Imbuido de belleza y humor, con música en vivo y una fiesta con comida. (En inglés y español).
In Collaboration with / en colaboración con Saint Paul's Lutheran Church
The Neighborhood of Make-Believe
“I’ve always wanted to have a neighbor just like you. I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.”
The Neighborhood of Make-Believe honors the legacy of Fred Rogers (creator of the children’s television show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood) and celebrates the ordinary people who do extraordinary work to make our own neighborhood a brighter, healthier, friendlier place. Director Bart Buch combines puppets, music, and visual imagery to tell the story of Neighborhood Helpers in our own South Minneapolis communities – people who hold up the light through common-sense work every day. Join us as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and shine a light on some of the wonderful people we have called neighbors.
February 1 - 25, 2018
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Puppet Lab 2018
In the Heart of the Beast Theatre’s new artist incubator facilitated by Alison Heimstead is celebrating 7 years of radical, genre-expanding, boundary–pushing work. Join us in March for two weekends of experimental performance from four emerging puppeteers generously funded by the Jerome Foundation.
Applications are now live and are due June 9!
Previous Mainstage Performances
2015, 2013, 2002
2014, 2012, 2008, 2007, 2006
December 2010 & 2001
2006, 2005, 2004