Who We Are

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Mission

Ten Thousand Things awakens the creative spirit of audiences and artists by bringing essential and exceptional theater to people from all backgrounds and life experiences.

Vision

To ignite empathy and revolutionize belonging through the power of compelling and inspiring theater.

Values

  • Theater is better when everyone is in the audience. Performing for audiences of all life experiences and backgrounds expands imagination and challenges us to create work that is honest, relevant and representative.
  • Artistic excellence drives our work. We combine rigor, skilled artists and bold, universal stories to create the best work possible.
  • Artists are our greatest asset. We value the tremendous talent and commitment of our artists and place them at the center of the work.
  • Everyone belongs. We actively work to eliminate barriers to participation and cultivate equitable practices. Whether an audience member, artist, staff, or volunteer, each person’s unique perspective is necessary to the work.
  • We choose joy. Challenging work is best met by an environment that allows for laughter, safety, play and creativity.

On Belonging

Ten Thousand Things (TTT) believes that theatre is better when everyone is in the audience. The TTT model is rooted in telling bold, universal stories that honor a diversity of identities. Your presence drives TTT to evolve creatively and cultivate equitable practices. This inclusive approach breaks down historic and current barriers by igniting the power of empathy. With intention, rigor, and joy, Ten Thousand Things commits to holding space for you.

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.