Photos by Bruce Silcox.

Photos by Bruce Silcox.

Open Eye Figure Theatre Presents


20th Anniversary Production!

October 19 - November 18, 2018

Created and directed by Michael Sommers
Performed by Julian McFaul, Rick Miller, Mackenzie Elker, and Benjamin Shaw

Michael Sommers’ critically-acclaimed puppet epic returns to the stage! Inspired by Sommers’ longtime obsession with Goethe’s dramatic poem about a man who sells his soul to the devil, A PRELUDE TO FAUST conjures a miniature surreal world of tormented souls, flying spirits and disembodied hands. With virtuosic puppetry and an original score by Michael Koerner performed with a live orchestra, this landmark production is not to be missed!

A PRELUDE TO FAUST was commissioned by the Walker Art Center in 1998 and was the first production in Open Eye’s historic theatre in 2007. FAUST was also performed at the Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater in 2000. Open Eye co-founder Michael Sommers wrote the show after researching the Faust story in Germany and the Czech Republic.

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"I thought when we tucked it away in 2007: 'Wow, we really found out what this is about,' " says Sommers, perched next to the show's miniature, handcrafted proscenium stage-within-a-stage. "But then, getting the script out again this year, I realized that I'm learning a lot more. This is a love story and that was always kind of there, but I didn't know it." Read more in Chris Hewitt’s story for the Star Tribune.

"Loss, tragedy, survival, love," he said. "How does one achieve the things you want in this world? What are the things you have to do? What are the skills you have to develop? And then, what deals do you make with the devil to get what you want?" Read more in Euan Kerr’s story for MPR News.


"At once earthy and esoteric, Sommers’ dreamlike work casts a unique spell."
- Jay Gabler, City Pages

"I was so bewitched by the alchemy of 'Faust' that I may have lost track of the real world for a sec."
- Chris Hewitt, Star Tribune

“A PRELUDE TO FAUST is puppetry at its finest, and so much more—magical, hilarious, touching and beautiful, warmly human, refreshingly innocent, and wise. And it’s quintessential Sommers—deep, richly evocative, always engaging and substantive. Sommers digs for the essence, the primal. He animates not just puppets but human dilemmas, existential questions, and audiences.” 
- Jean E. Greenwood, Open Eye fan & volunteer


$24 —  General Admission
$22 — Seniors
$15 — Students
A limited number of $10 Economic Accessibility tickets are available online. If not sold out, a limited number of pay as able tickets will be available at the door.
View our ticketing policy

Age recommendation: PG13. Surreal imagery and philosophical language make this show appropriate for mature teens and adults. Not recommended for young children.

Performance Schedule
Oct. 19, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
Oct. 20, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
Oct. 21, 4pm
Oct. 25, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
Oct. 26, 7:30pm
Oct. 27, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
Oct. 28, 4pm SOLD OUT
Nov. 1, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
Nov. 2, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
Nov. 3, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
Nov. 4, 4pm SOLD OUT
Nov. 5, 7:30pm (Industry Night) SOLD OUT
Nov. 8, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
Nov. 9, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
Nov. 10, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
Nov. 11, 4pm SOLD OUT
Nov. 14, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
Nov. 15, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
Nov. 16, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
Nov. 17, 4pm SOLD OUT
Nov. 17, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
Nov. 18, 2pm SOLD OUT

Contact Open Eye at or 612-874-6338 for accessibility information, including ASL reservation.

Please be aware that ongoing construction on 35W and surrounding streets and bridges will affect your route to Open Eye. Please allow extra time getting to the theatre. We recommend using map apps to navigate to the theatre, following posted detour signs, and consulting MNDOT for current projects at