Loren Niemi Presents
STORIES NOW AND THEN
September 13 - 15 and 20 - 22, 2019
A mini-storytelling festival of uniquely told, heartfelt narratives, STORIES NOW AND THEN presents five exceptional performers each telling a 45-minute story. Six performances by five storytellers sharing paired stories that careen from humor to wisdom and back again on the intimate Open Eye Stage.
Dovie Thomason, who is considered by many as the finest Native American teller today, shares "Space Cadet" in which NASA meets mythology and humor infects Cosmology. (Sept. 13 - 15)
Megan Wells, national award winning storyteller from Chicago brings Oscar Wilde's "The Canterville Ghost" to life in all its shimmering beauty. (Sept. 20 - 22)
Howard Lieberman's powerful testimony of the "Death Camp Diaries" was a “Best of” at the 2009 MN Fringe Festival. (Sept. 13 and 21)
Loren Niemi, the “Godfather” of Twin Cities Storytellers, tells "Finding Gregory," a lyrical view of friendship and the "be here now" that is living with Alzheimer’s. (Sept. 14 and 22)
Debra Ting offers "Quoth the Raven," a vision of Edgar Allan Poe with feathers and the glint of an all-knowing eye. (Sept. 15 and Sept 20)
$20 — General Admission
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
September 13, 7:30pm: Dovie Thomason and Howard Lieberman
September 14, 7:30pm: Dovie Thomason and Loren Niemi
September 15, 2pm: Dovie Thomason and Debra Ting
September 20, 7:30pm: Megan Wells and Debra Ting
September 21, 7:30pm: Megan Wells and Howard Lieberman
September 22, 2pm: Megan Wells and Loren Niemi
16+ for adult language and content in most stories, and possible nudity in Howard Lieberman’s piece.
Contact Open Eye at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-874-6338 for accessibility information and requests.
Getting to Open Eye
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 dot.state.mn.us/35w94.
“Space Cadet” — Sept. 13 - 15
Dovie says, “For over two decades, my work has been utilizing the art form of traditional Native storytelling to explore cultures. I have developed a wide variety of traditional storytelling programs for all ages, with the intent of sharing an indigenous perspective on Native cultures, stories and concerns.”
The wise, boisterous teaching tales of her Lakota and Plains Apache relatives come alive in listeners’ imaginations as Dovie Thomason shares stories with elegance, sly wit and passion. Her stories delight in the spoken word and teach respect for values passed through generations and are a contemporary vision of the rich cultures of the First Nations of North America. A former teacher, Dovie is an NEA and Arts International recipient, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers’ Traditional Storyteller of the Year and was honored with the National Storytelling Network’s 2007 Circle of Excellence Award.
Oscar Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost”
Sept. 20 - 22
Megan Wells is a story artist and a theater artist. She creates the warm intimacy of storytelling with a theatrical flare. Megan infuses characters with living souls, and delivers the experience with delicious theatrical timing. Author and Professor Rives Collins says it best, "Megan Wells is both intimate and epic in equal measure."
An award-winning storyteller, Megan performs in museums and symphonies, enhances education for thousands of children, entertains families in festivals and libraries, and helps executives, actors and storytellers craft powerful stories to effect change. Megan has a vast repertoire of traditional tales, multi-cultural myths, historical events, as well as personal and true stories. Perhaps, her daughters say it best, "Mom's a storytelling jukebox. Put a quarter 'n pick your favorite!"
“Death Camp Dairies” — Sept. 13 and 21
Howard Lieberman is a performance artist/storyteller whose art lives on the uneasy edge where most storytellers seldom if ever venture. Howard is a not so nice Jewish boy who moved to MN from NYC in 1990 to experience living among Lutherans. He says that despite the overall passive aggressive nature of Minnesotans, he’s pretty damn happy in MN.
His edgy yet often surprisingly tender stories have made him a favorite on the storytelling scene including performances at Patrick’s Cabaret and Cheap Theater. His MN Fringe work includes Welcome to My Bomb Shelter, (2002) When Worlds Collide, (2004) and Dancing Dirty with Lee and Mr. Bo (2005). In 2007 he co-starred with Loren Niemi and Felix Hampton Brown in the critically acclaimed 1967, one of the few shows rated MUST SEE by the Pioneer Press. That show came back in 2017 with Rose McGee and Mari Harris bringing a musical perspective to the stage.
His 2009 MN Fringe show, DEATH CAMP DIARIES, is what Howard will be telling for the “Stories Now and Then” performances. It was one of the most talked about shows in that year’s Fringe, of which the Minneapolis StarTribune said “...has an unprocessed rawness that makes a strong impact... The effect is chilling...”
Advisory: Possible Nudity
“Finding Gregory” — Sept. 14 and 22
Loren Niemi has been on both sides of the theatrical curtain .As a performer it includes 25 years as 1/3 of the performance art trio, Bad Jazz with Michael Sommers and Kevin Kling and has done both solo and partnered Fringe Festival performances since 1995. He is a frequent performer at Cheap Theater, Story Slams, and Balls Cabaret.
The author of The New Book of Plots, on the uses of narratives in oral and written stories and co-author with Elizabeth Ellis, of the critically acclaimed Inviting the Wolf In: Thinking About Difficult Stories on the value and necessity of stories that are hard to heard and harder to tell. Loren recently published What Haunts Us, a collection of unsettling “ghost” stories that move from testimonies to the meditations on the persistence of memory and meaning.
He is a 1998 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow and the recipient of a 2016 National Storytelling Network Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Quoth the Raven” — Sept. 15 and 20
Debra Ting specializes in spinning warm, comforting, and thought-provoking tales for adult audiences. Her stories - old and new, personal or traditional – embody timely and time-honored ideals such as love, compassion, forgiveness, and hope.
Ms. Ting believes that no one ever outgrows the need for stories and, that it is through the sharing of our stories that hearts may be opened, spirits may be inspired, and souls may even begin to heal.
Listeners have said, that Ms. Ting is “a gifted storyteller,” down-to-earth, humble, and authentic.” They have said that Debra’s stories “speak to the heart and soul.”