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Michelle Hensley

Founding Artistic Director of Ten Thousand Things Theater in Minneapolis

Michelle Hensley is the founding artistic director of Ten Thousand Things Theater, where she directed and produced over seventy tours of award-winning drama to low-income audiences in prisons, shelters, housing projects and rural communities as well as for the general public. Most productions made local critics' annual Outstanding Production lists, including Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan, Greek tragedies like The Furies, Electra and Antigone, Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, The Tempest, Richard III, Twelfth Night and Othello, and musicals like The Unsinkable Molly Brown, The Most Happy Fella, Ragtime, and The Little Shop of Horrors. Now retired, in 2017, Michelle received the Twin Cities Ivey Award for Lifetime Achievement, and TCG's Visionary Leadership Award in 2018.  She is a founder of the Minnesota Theater Alliance, served on the boards of TCG and Howlround, and is the author of All The Lights On, a book on her discoveries about theater through Ten Thousand Things.

An Excerpt from All the Lights On
Essay

An Excerpt from All the Lights On

Reimagining Theater with Ten Thousand Things

2 March 2015

All the Lights On is a history of the Twin Cities’ theatre company Ten Thousand Things. Published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in association with HowlRound.

Kira Obolensky and Michelle Hensley in Conversation
Essay

Kira Obolensky and Michelle Hensley in Conversation

16 February 2012

Kira Oblenskey talks to Michelle Hensley, the founding artistic director of Ten Thousand Things in Minnesota, about the necessity of big stories, and the joys of bringing theater to audiences who have very little experience with it.