Toy Theatre After Dark

March 30 - April 8, 2017

Two weeks of puppetry and object theatre of miniature proportions. Join us for this fun showcase of emerging and established puppetry artists in a wild assortment of approaches to animating the inanimate.

Curator Susan Haas (Open Eye’s Artistic Producing Director) has selected artists from the local community and around the country to perform in the festival. Performances will include humanoids, exquisitely carved foam, animated toys, crankies, table top puppetry, and much more. Come be delighted, surprised, and baffled—if you dare...

Come both weeks for two completely different shows!

Week One: March 30-April 1

Dirty Dishes:in the sink by Paige Carlson (Minneapolis)
In this solo show, dirty dishes are more than meets the eye as puppets and objects are manipulated in a pseudo kitchen to reach a state of nonsensical domestic harmony.

Grim All Day by Dan Polnau (Minneapolis)
A demented ever morphing clown puppet and his pet monkey Pepe are our guides in this surreal lecture, peppered with vignettes and demonstrations, depicting the history of the clown.

The Trouble With Maker by Kalen Keir (Minneapolis)
In a world of great uncertainty, Kalen performs a succession of dark vignettes with obsolete found objects, modified to play on their life-like qualities.

Your Best Self by Vanessa Valliere (Chicago)
The story of Barbara, a hopeful, earnest, and eager young woman who attends a motivational speech in the hopes of becoming her best self.

American Vegetative Lowlives Gone Wild by Lindsay McCaw (Detroit)
A show that explores the sordid lives of the unwashed and less cultivated members of the plant community. Depicting relationships between oddball plants, the performance is a snapshot of their mundane and grotesque existences.

Body Concert by Kevin Augustine (New York City)
Influenced by Japanese Butho dance, this hybrid work brings Lone Wolf Tribe’s exquisitely sculpted foam-rubber puppets uniquely to life in a hauntingly romantic movement piece.


Week Two: April 6-8

The Mothers of the Bestiary and Sherds by Felice Amato (St. Paul)
The Mothers of the Bestiary will have a cranky and puppet/object performances that tell the stories of animal or beast mothers described in the ancient/medieval bestiaries or made-up. Sherds composes puppets of broken pieces of porcelain and dolls during the performance and each tells a story.

Sacrament-Burger by David Commander (New York City)
This modern toy theater piece focuses on our disconnection from the function and value of food and how that detachment contributes to the waste of nearly half of all food produced globally. David also explores the inherent need to ritualize the act of eating and how this ceremony is performed within restaurant culture.

The Wink by Zoe Sommers Haas (Minneapolis)
An out of touch, over the top talk show host engages her correspondent puppets about the excitements and woes of her world. No alternative facts here. Pure honesty, it's real, where realness gets realer on a real level.

Lamenations for Old and Useless Things: Lamentation #1 by Michael Sommers (Minneapolis)
use·less (yo͞os ləs)
-Not fulfilling or not expected to achieve the intended purpose or desired outcome.  
"A piece of useless theater.”
-Having no ability or skill in a specified activity or area.
"He was useless at puppetry.”

The Death and Life of Billy the Kid by Frank Maugeri and Seth Bockley (Chicago)
This folk-musical mini-opera uses puppetry, ritual, song and toy theater techniques to explore the legendary outlaw from a personal, elegiac perspective.



$18 — General Admission
$15 — Senior (65+)
$12 — Students

Performance Schedule

March 30, 7:30pm - Opening Night Reception
March 31, 7:30pm - Post Show Q & A
April 1st, 7:30pm  - Post Show Dance Party

April 6, 7:30pm - Opening Night Reception
April 7, 7:30pm - Post Show Q & A
April 8, 7:30pm - Post Show Dance Party

Recommended for ages 12 and up. Pay-as-able option always available. Reservations or pre-purchase strongly recommended.


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