Awards

Maren Ward receives two EXCEPTIONAL INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE awards!

 Photos by Galen Fletcher

Photos by Galen Fletcher

We're thrilled to announce that frequent Open Eye collaborator and our dear friend Maren Ward was recognized with two EXCEPTIONAL INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE awards at the MN Theater Awards on Sept. 24, 2018!

She was recognized for her performances in CONSTANCE IN THE DARKNESS: A MUSICAL IN MINIATURE at Open Eye as well as Walking Shadow Theatre Company's production of HATCHET LADY!

Maren's incredible, hilarious, and tear-jerking performances as five different characters (The Storyteller, Fairy Godmother, Bobo, Queen Harmonica, and Mother) in CONSTANCE is a big reason the show was such a huge success. Congratulations on this well-deserved award, Maren! 

Maren Ward has also played Father Winter in The Holiday Pageant and Jackie in To the Moon at Open Eye. She co-founded and operated Bedlam Theatre from 1993–2016. Her other credits include In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, Theater Novi Most, Theater Unbound, Footprints/Wonderlust, Frank Theater, and Ten Thousand Things. Maren directs the zAmya Theater Project, a theater company that makes plays about homelessness with people who’ve experienced it.

Kimberly Richardson receives "Performer of the Year" recognition from Lavender Magazine

 Kimberly Richardson in The Red Shoes. Photo by Mark Vancleave.

Kimberly Richardson in The Red Shoes. Photo by Mark Vancleave.

Congratulations to Kimberly Richardson on receiving "Performance of the Year" from Lavender Magazine for her role in The Red Shoes this year!

"This was quite an achievement for 2017," says director and creator Joel Sass. "An against-all-odds mash-up of Hans Christian Andersen, film noir, Raymond Chandler, and the miniature murder doll houses of Frances Glessner Lee... The glue that held it together was my artistic co-creator and muse, Kimberly Richardson! Very excited for another visit to this mysterious apartment in 2018—stay tuned!"

Read more. 

Michael Sommers Receives Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education

 Michael Sommers. Photo by Patrick O' Leary

Michael Sommers. Photo by Patrick O' Leary

We're proud to announce that Open Eye's Artist-in-Residence and Co-Founder Michael Sommers has received the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. Michael is an Associate Professor in the University's Theatre Arts & Dance department.

In his 34-year career to date, Michael has generated more than fifty internationally recognized theatrical productions, probing the dark conflicts and the joys of being human. At the University, he has translated his unique vision into the curricular arts where he serves as mapmaker, provocateur, and mentor. He structures collaborative environments of serious and focused play that celebrate the act of making, inspiring students to work with their hands, imaginations, and intellects to realize their own creative process.

According to the University, "This honor is awarded to exceptional candidates nominated by colleges in their quest to identify excellence in undergraduate education. In addition to honoring individual faculty members, the award contributes to the improvement of undergraduate education at the University by publicizing their work to serve as a resource for the whole faculty." Learn more.

As part of this prestigious recognition, Michael's name will be added to the University's Scholars Walk.