For 30 Years…

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre has been using water, flour, newspaper, paint, and imagination to tell stories that explore and celebrate the human experience and the wonders of the natural world. Each year, in addition to MayDay, we produce a season of original, company-generated plays for both family and adult audiences. We also teach puppetry and pageantry to students and teachers, teenagers and youth, and community members in our neighborhood and throughout Minnesota.

The many forms of puppets we use are inspired by cultures from around the world, rising from ancient ceremonial roots and passed on by folk traditions. Their power lies in the act of transformation—of bringing something inanimate to life. This act in itself speaks to our lives, which rise and fall and rise again. As we share this act of building and performing , we find that theater brings people together. It builds community. It is with great respect and awe that we see the power and joy of this ancient art flourish in unsuspecting ways and places.

Our name, “In the Heart of the Beast,” comes from Cuban poet José Martì, who was quoted by Argentinian revolutionist Ernesto “Che” Guevara, who used the term to describe North Americans. Here, in the center of a city, in the center of the country, in the center of our own being, we are In the Heart of the Beast. For us, this means the best way to make change in the world is to seek beauty and work for justice in our own backyard. We tell the stories of the people who live in the heart of the beast, as courageous and resourceful as they really are. Please join us next season to hear some of these stories.


Statement of Mission

Through performance, ceremony and teaching, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre explores and celebrates the human experience and the wonders of the world’s natural and cultural richness.


Artistic Values

We create original work.

We use a process of study and intuition to develop the content of our work.

We use a broad spectrum of puppet and mask artistry that may vary in style and size, crafted for many different places and contexts, indoors and outdoors.

We apply “low tech” artistry and high human energy in creating and performing our work.

We continually challenge ourselves to develop the best possible artistic work.

We integrate visual art, movement, music and spoken word in our work.

We draw inspiration from the world’s traditions of puppet and mask theatre and its lively roots in transformative ritual and street theatre.

Social Values

We value the creative spirit that dwells in each person.

We embrace the universal principles of human rights and restorative love.

We value diversity — socio-economic, cultural, and age — in our organization and constituencies.

We engage in dialogue about the human, spiritual and natural worlds.

We provide social commentary through puppet and mask artistry.

We are an active and vital member of our south Minneapolis community.

Operating Principles

We conduct the business of the theatre in a purposeful and fiscally responsible manner.

We strive to provide a safe, stimulating work environment, free of discrimination, intimidation and   harassment.

We seek to be a culturally diverse organization of staff, board, and volunteers.

We welcome new as well as devoted audiences.

We value communication and cooperation among our staff, between Board and staff, and with other organizations.