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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Saturday February 24th 2024

A New “Ringmaster” at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre

by Harvey Winje

In the Heart of the Beast Theatre searched far and wide for an Executive Director to assume the role long and capably performed by Kathee Foran who retired last month.  The Board of Directors chose Loren Niemi.  Loren has a wide-ranging background that includes decades of involvement in local theater and literary circles.   Loren Niemi was the Tour manager and Ringmaster of HOTB”'s “Circle of Water Circus” in the summer 1983.  It was an extravaganza that combined HOTB”'s three venues””education, production, and events””in a tour from the Itasca headwaters of the Mississippi River to many towns along the River, culminating in a pageant near the Gulf of Mexico.

Chances are best that Executive Director Loren Niemi and longtime Artistic Director Sandy Spieler will combine to be a dynamic duo of “ringmasters.”   They both have the ability to be in the spotlight just long enough to focus the attention of the “roar of the crowd” on the most important performers of HOTB—students in classrooms, actors on stage, or the audience as “actors” on community streets.

Loren”'s unbridled enthusiasm tempered by professorial, stage, organizing, and administrative experience addresses the three venues of the theatre company. He states, “I  will use my strong belief in HOTB”'s transformative abilities to guide its resources,  build for the future, and advise on physical space needs as HOTB heads toward its 40th Anniversary in 2014.”

Loren”'s reputation as a superb storyteller and teacher of storytelling will soon be demonstrated when he delivers his own “revival preacher version” of this local theatre company”'s place as a Minneapolis cultural icon at the:

HOTB Open House!

Avalon Theatre, 1500 East Lake Street

Thur. Oct 14, from 5:30 – 8:30

Food, beverages, puppet show and comraderie.

Win prizes!

It promises to be an event in itself as Loren is announced, welcomed and gives his “State of the Art” of In the Heart of the Beast Theatre.

It”'s time again for”¦Saturday Puppet Shows!

October 9 to March 12. First show is

“A Surprise for Little Grandpa”

by Open Eye Figure Theatre

Two shows: 10 am & 12 Noon

$2 for youth who live or attend school in Central, Phillips, Powderhorn or Corcoran.

$4 donation requested for others.

Come early or stay after for the

“Make & Take a Puppet” 11 am. our Plaza Verde classroom.

$5 per person. Call ahead for reservations: 612-721-2535

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