Director Joel Sass Joins Open Eye Figure Theatre as Associate Producer


Open Eye is proud to announce the addition of director and designer Joel Sass to its leadership team. Effective immediately, Sass joins the team as Associate Producer.

Joel Sass is a stage director, designer, and adapter based in Minneapolis, where he has worked since 1990, specializing in the creation of new work for the stage and devising imaginative reinterpretations of classic plays. Recently, Sass has directed three productions at Open Eye—the Ivey Award-winning Nothing is Something in 2015, Kevin Kling’s Greatest Hits and Juicy Bits in 2016, and The Red Shoes in 2017, which he also conceived, wrote, and designed.

As Associate Producer, Sass will work alongside Open Eye Executive Artistic Director/Founder Susan Haas to design and manage the theatre’s eclectic programming as well as oversee daily operations for the company. He will also become the company’s second in-house,  Artist-in-Residence (Michael Sommers being the first) as Open Eye will continue to support his artistic goals.

The addition of an Associate Producer to the Open Eye staff allows the organization to increase capacity to further program development, and expand services for both artists and communities building on the solid organizational foundation.

“I am incredibly thrilled and energized to have Joel join our team,” says Sue Haas. “I look forward to working with him for his leadership, creative innovation, and strong business sense as we plan the future of Open Eye.”

“For years I’ve been a huge fan of the work of Open Eye, and of co-founders Michael Sommers and Susan Haas,” says Joel Sass. “Open Eye perfectly exemplifies the high artistic standards, deep community impact, and national outreach of an artist-centered and run organization that has a unique vision and operates with passion and integrity. Some of my most gratifying creative exploits have occurred at Open Eye, and I’m thrilled to join their team and be involved in the exciting work of producing, season planning, marketing and helping to explore the always-evolving future of this jewel of the Twin Cities art scene.”

Sass has directed and designed more than 20 award-winning productions at the acclaimed Jungle Theatre. Joel has also directed and/or designed at the Guthrie Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Theater, Theatre de la June Lune, Arizona Theatre Company, Park Square Theatre, the University of Minnesota, Mixed Blood Theatre, Macalester College, Ananya Dance Theatre, Theatre-In-The-Round, Starting Gate, Gremlin Theatre, Frank Theater, and many others. Sass co-founded the award-winning Mary Worth Theatre Company in Minneapolis in 1994.

Read more about Joel Sass at