Open Eye Figure Theatre Presents

A New England Gothic

World Premiere!


Created and directed by Joel Sass

"Fol De Rol Rol, said the big old Troll..."

Welcome to Beldenville, Maine, where townsfolk scoff at the legend of a troll who lives in the old train tunnel—until one dark night a child vanishes and is never seen again. This new Open Eye premiere is an imaginative, visually rich theatre piece that uses live actors, puppetry, and a wild array of animated objects to conjure the uncanny events occurring in a small town, and how the inhabitants cope with a troublesome stranger in their midst. Mythic, mysterious, and full of frights and laughs, THE BELDENVILLE TROLL is a modern fable about childhood’s end, and adulthood’s beginning.

Neal Skoy
Chloé Bell
Maxwell Mainwood
Kalen Rainbow Keir

Design Team
Sound design by Sean Healey
Lighting design by Bill Healey
Set design by Joel Sass
Dramaturgy by josef evans


“Joel Sass is such an inventive artist, both as a designer and as a director, and perhaps no place allows him to showcase his talent and creativity more than Open Eye, where truly anything is possible." — Cherry and Spoon

“…a darkly enchanting theatrical experience.” — Lavender Magazine

“Open Eye Figure Theatre builds an elaborate fairy tale that rethinks where monsters come from.” — Star Tribune 

“Intricate, dark, fascinating, and fantastical, this work is among the best that theater can be—appealing to the eyes, the ears, and the mind. Consider it a must-see!” — Twin Cities Geek

"Sass' stunning artistry hits us as soon as we take our seats.” Talkin’ Broadway

"If there's anything more awesome than a delightfully creepy true story, it's a fictional spooky story that is so well-crafted that it feels real." — MN Theater Love

Visit the Museum!

The Open Eye gallery will feature an exhibit of vintage photography and artifacts from Beldenville, including some rare troll bones on loan from the village historical society that audiences can explore before and after the show.

From the Director

“I’m developing THE BELDENVILLE TROLL as a sequel to our 2017 production THE RED SHOES, which took the Hans Christian Anderson story about a cursed pair of red dancing shoes and re-made it as a 1940s film noir mystery,” says Joel Sass.  

“In TROLL, we’ll continue our creative grafting of fairytale themes and folklore onto surprising modern settings by utilizing a creepy museum of compelling artifacts, animated shadow puppets, and live performers to explore the obscure history and eccentric inhabitants of a small town in rural Maine. The audience assumes the role of detective, sifting through the conflicting memories of townspeople who share stories of a peculiar village boy who may or may not have been a Changeling—a troll-child left behind to impersonate a kidnapped human. I’m thinking of this new show as a ‘New England Gothic’ that is simultaneously a ‘who-done-it,’ and a love story....funny, poignant, and definitely a little scary. A troll may not be the only dangerous creature you can encounter in the village of Beldenville.”

Joel Sass.jpg

About the Creator

Joel Sass is an award-winning writer/director/designer whose work has been seen many times at the Guthrie, the Jungle, Park Square, Theatre Latte Da, and Open Eye, where he previously created THE RED SHOES, an iconoclastic film-noir riff on a Hans Christian Anderson fairytale.



$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

Performance Schedule

March 21, 7:30pm $5 Preview SOLD OUT
March 22, 7:30pm Opening Night SOLD OUT
March 23, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
March 24, 4pm SOLD OUT
March 28, 7:30pm
March 29, 7:30pm
March 30, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
March 31, 4pm
April 4, 7:30pm
April 5, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
April 6, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
April 7, 4pm SOLD OUT TROLL TALK with Jack Zipes
April 8, 7:30pm SOLD OUT Industry Night (Pay What You Can)
April 11, 7:30pm
April 12, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
April 13, 7:30pm SOLD OUT
April 14, 4pm SOLD OUT
April 19, 7:30pm
April 20, 4pm
April 20, 7:30pm

Run Time

75 minutes

Age Recommendation

PG13: Appropriate for teens, but with some adult language and scary images.


Contact Open Eye at or 612-874-6338 for accessibility information and requests.

Getting to Open Eye

Get directions to the theatre.

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


Join us for a "TROLL-TALK" with fairytale and folklore expert Jack Zipes! An informative and provocative Q&A about the meaning of trolls, the historical influence of fairytales, and the process of creating THE BELDENVILLE TROLL with special guest Jack Zipes, along with dramaturg Josef Evans, and director Joel Sass.