Ten Thousand Things brings lively, intelligent, professional theater to people with little access to the wealth of the arts – who in turn help our artists and traditional audiences re-imagine what theater can be.


Ten Thousand Things will be a significant force in the American theater, inspiring its audiences and the field with its unique model of high quality, low cost, accessible theater and transformative outreach. We aim to brighten the future of theater through our successes in Minnesota and across the country because we know that theater is richer when everyone is in the audience.


  • Audiences of all life experiences and backgrounds
  • Artistic excellence in all we do
  • Investment in artists as our greatest asset
  • Honesty, depth and imagination in our work and our relationships
  • Diversity at all levels – in our performances, audiences, staff and leadership
  • Bold universal stories – full of hard questions, complicated and hopeful, that speak to the human experience and help us to discover all that we share in common
  • A working environment that offers trust, room for creativity and equal participation, and that fosters laughter, play and joy

Our performance model

At our performances, audiences experience theater in its most vital, elemental form. We don't use a stage; rather, we perform on the floor inside a circle of chairs, with the lights on so everyone can see each other, with minimal sets and live music. The result is a performance that engages the imagination of our audiences. Through this dynamic exchange, artists and audience breathe new life into theater together, reminding us that theater is essential to all of our lives. We do not preach easy answers to life's difficulties and seek to transcend the perceptions of class, race, education and life experience that often divide us. Read more about our model in All the Lights On, a groundbreaking book by our founder, Michelle Hensley.

Our performance locations

Our free performances are at homeless shelters, correctional facilities, low-income senior centers, after-school programs, women's shelters, and locations in greater/rural Minnesota — any place where people are who do not have easy access to the arts. We also perform for paying audiences at locations such as Open Book and North Garden Theater.