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Theatre of Wonder

25 Years in the Heart of the Beast

1999

Colleen J. Sheehy, editor

Theatre of Wonder

A lavishly illustrated celebration of the art of this innovative theatrical group.

Theatre of Wonder offers an overview of the creative work In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre has done in its twenty-five years. It includes more than 80 photographs of everything from hand-held puppets and small masks to the massive puppets for which the group is best known. In addition to a thorough history of the theatre, this volume also provides critical and artistic perspectives on the company’s work, celebrating its inspirational, healing, and hopeful visions of what society could become.

Theatre of Wonder provides critical and artistic perspectives on the company’s work. Contents include essays by the editor, current artistic director, Sandy Spieler and several other artists who work or have worked with the company. Theatre of Wonder demonstrates the amazing achievements of a theatre company that not only entertains, but involves and uplifts the thousands of community members who attend and participate in its work. This excellent and comprehensive overview of In the Heart of the Beast Mask and Puppet Theatre is an inspiration to the international puppetry community and any human being who wants to make a difference.

The Puppetry Journal

For twenty-five years, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre has staged spectacular performances featuring puppets that sometimes are more than twenty feet tall. This Minneapolis arts organization is one of the premier companies of its kind, recognized nationally and internationally for its lively use of ceremony and ritual in exploring the joys of human existence and posing questions about social injustice. Theatre of Wonder is the companion volume to a retrospective exhibit scheduled for the summer of 1999 at the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, featuring masks, puppets, and other artifacts from throughout the theatre’s history.

Founded in 1973 by a group of visual and theatrical artists committed to social change, In the Heart of the Beast is best known for its annual May Day parade and festival, an event focusing on environmental, cultural, spiritual, and political themes. Each year more than 35,000 people attend the May Day parade, which the theatre develops through mask- and puppet-making workshops held in conjunction with young people and organizations in its immediate neighborhood, one often troubled by poverty and crime. In the Heart of the Beast has also expanded its activities to include an annual season of productions as well as residencies with elementary and high schools, colleges, and churches.

Theatre of Wonder offers an overview of the creative work In the Heart of the Beast has done in its twenty-five years. It includes more than 80 photographs of everything from hand-held puppets and small masks to the massive puppets for which the group is best known. In addition to a thorough history of the theatre, this volume also provides critical and artistic perspectives on the company’s work, celebrating its inspirational, healing, and hopeful visions of what society could become.

Published in cooperation with the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum

Theatre of Wonder

Colleen Sheehy is curator (with Sandy Spieler) of the “Theatre of Wonder” exhibit to be held at the Weisman Art Museum from June until August 1999.

Theatre of Wonder

Theatre of Wonder provides critical and artistic perspectives on the company’s work. Contents include essays by the editor, current artistic director, Sandy Spieler and several other artists who work or have worked with the company. Theatre of Wonder demonstrates the amazing achievements of a theatre company that not only entertains, but involves and uplifts the thousands of community members who attend and participate in its work. This excellent and comprehensive overview of In the Heart of the Beast Mask and Puppet Theatre is an inspiration to the international puppetry community and any human being who wants to make a difference.

The Puppetry Journal

The exhibition catalogue, edited by Sheehy and illustrated in black and white with a thirty-page color section, presents a history written by Spieler, a timeline of HOBT productions and parades and shorter appreciations offering a sense of the theatre’s evolution and its goals. For readers who know only the May Day parade, Spieler’s informative introductory essay describes the relationship between it and the plays offered during the rest of the year. Latshaw places HOBT in the context of international puppetry history.

Public Art Review